Over the summer, Kia sold its 5000th Soul Electric Vehicle, and by the end of August 2015, sales were at 5,399 worldwide!
The Soul EV has been in production for about 1 year, and is sold mainly in a few countries.
Through the end of August 2015, here are the numbers for the different countries:
- South Korea had 1,777 sold
- Germany had 1099 registered in 2015
- 981 were sold in the USA
- Some estimate another 1000 or so were sold to Norway
August 2015 was a record breaking sales month with 676 Kia Soul Electric Vehicles sold worldwide.
The Kia Soul EV is currently on sale in 5 states, and Kia Motors USA has said that by the end of the 4th quarter of 2015, the Soul electric vehicle will be available in these 10 US states:
With a 26 kWh lithium ion battery pack and class-leading energy density, the Soul EV has received rave reviews and looks like it will continue to sell well into 2016.
At the Chicago Auto Show last week, GreenCarReports.com had a chance to sit down with 3 Kia executives and discuss, and have their questions answered about, the 2015 Kia Soul EV.
Orth Hedrick, Kia’s vice president of product planning, Stephen Kosowski, manager of long-range strategy and planning as well as product lead for the Soul EV, and James Hope, who is Kia’s national manager for product communications were all part of the interview.
We will support it, it will be part of the Kia Soul family, and we think it’ll be a success if our dealers can reach the buyers–if we can get them engaged–in key markets.
Kia has been watching the electric vehicle marketplace for a while, and when lease prices suddenly came down in California last year, Kia decided it was time to provide it’s own electric vehicle offering. Since the Kia Executives mentioned the California market specifically, we can’t help but think they were keeping their eye on that state specifically. Due to CARB requirements, and taking into account the volume of vehicles Kia sells worldwide, the automaker won’t become subject to California’s zero-emissions mandate until 2018.
When GreenCarReports specifically asked if the Soul Electric Vehicle was a compliance car, Orth Hendrick simply responded “We’re very interested in the car succeeding,” and declined to comment on sales volume targets for Kia’s first EV.
For the full interview, visit Green Car Reports
Photographer Chris Doane caught a Soul EV out and about just days before a scheduled on-stage reveal at the Chicago Auto Show. From the pictures, we can see the EV version of Kia’s popular model will have a closed off nose that is larger than the grille on the standard model. In addition to special badges on the side of the vehicle (which may be an option on the final production run), the Kia Soul EV also has slightly modified tail lights and a new wheel design.
Photos are from Autoblog.com, credit of Chris Doane Automotive. From the look of it, the guys in the Kia Soul EV weren’t too happy about pictures of it getting out before the auto show!
The second generation Kia Soul is set to arrive in New Zealand somewhere at the end of the first quarter of 2014. The redesigned Soul has a fresh style as well as a bunch of new features.
Based on that new design, and as part of Kia’s “Clean Mobility” program, Kia will be building a Soul Electric Vehicle that will be available in select overseas market in late 2014. One of these markets will include a right-hand version for sale in the UK.
According to the General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, Todd McDonald, “The fact that the electric Soul is going into the UK means there is a strong possibility it could be available to us.” He went on to say that Kia New Zealand is “in talks with our parent company in Korea to see if we can turn that opportunity into a reality. The Soul EV is a very technologically advanced vehicle that would showcase the fact that Kia is not just a leader in vehicle design, but also in sophisticated engineering.”
Currently, Kia sells a small electric vehicle called the Ray, but it is only available in Korea. The Soul EV will be the first electric vehicle, and even the first zero-emissions vehicle of any kind, that Kia will offer internationally.
Kia says the Soul Electric Vehicle has a 27 kWh lithium-ion battery that has a storage capacity that is 40% greater than the Nissan Leaf’s battery pack that should give the Soul EV a range of up to 192 km (we’re not sure if this is based on the European test cycle, or perhaps the Japanese test cycle?). In some official news releases from Kia, that range doesn’t even seem to include added range due to regenerative braking. “Kia hopes to extend that range through energy-recycling technology that works while the Kia Soul EV is coasting or braking.”