Is the future of the Kia Soul EV in the United States in doubt? The current, second generation of the electric-powered version of the small Soul SUV has been available in Canada and in Europe since last year (as a 2020 model), but in the United States its introduction has been repeatedly delayed. Now, an anonymous source who spoke with Cnet.com’s Roadshow claimed that Kia has decided against bringing the model to the U.S.
For now, Kia is denying that it has made any decision to pull the plug on the model for the U.S. A spokesperson for the Korean automaker did say that priority is being given to developing the market for the more-conventional Niro EV model, which actually can be found at American dealerships and comes in a format more recognizable to U.S. consumers. Kia also told the Arstechnica website that there are no plans to bring the Soul EV to U.S. soil “before 2021, at the earliest”. What’s more, there is no longer any sign of the model on Kia’s U.S. media website.
In 2019, Kia attributed the first delays in introducing the Soul EV in America to a lack of supply of batteries and of the vehicle itself, citing strong demand in world markets (in Europe only the electric-powered version of the Soul is available). The Soul EV uses the same battery pack as found in the Niro EV and in the Hyundai Kona Electric.
The second-generation 2020 Kia Soul EV features a boosted electric battery pack, effectively doubling the range of the model in comparison with the previous edition. It was chosen World Urban Car of the year for 2020.
Canadian consumers have been able to buy the new Soul EV since late last year; now it appears that may be a privilege not shared by our neighbours to the south. At least until 2021.