Those waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of the new Kia Soul EV will have to wait a little longer, at least in the U.S. The automaker confirmed that its commercial launch there has been pushed back to 2020.
The news came courtesy of Michael Cole, COO of Kia in America, who spoke with WardsAuto. The reason given for the delay is that company needs first to fill orders in Europe, where demand has been strong.
Much stronger, in fact, than early demand in the U.S. Norway and Germany have led the way for pre-orders on the EV; in some markets, the electric version is the only Soul being offered for sale.
What’s more, an important element Kia and other manufacturers have to contend with is the question of stricter environmental norms touching on CO2 emissions. New standards taking effect in 2020 in many European countries make getting the Soul EV to market quickly all the more crucial.
In the U.S. the context is altogether different. When the Soul EV does launch there, it will be offered in just 14 states that have adopted the same regulations as California that touch on zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
As for Canada, we don’t yet whether the launch of the model will be similarly delayed, but it would be surprising if it isn’t. If so, it’s disappointing particularly as the Soul EV would likely benefit greatly right out of the box in Canada thanks to the federal government’s new iZEV incentives program just instituted here.
Meantime, we invite you to check back here for updates, and for our first on-road test of the 2020 Kia Soul’s other versions, set to take place at the end of May in Toronto. These versions are still expected to debut here commercially a little later on in 2019.