The Kia Soul EV is one of the curious and anticipated cars that consumers want to see. Unfortunately, its debut has been pushed back repeatedly and now it appears the company has given up. Instead, the Korean giant will focus on the Niro EV which is already available in the U.S.
The wait for the Kia Soul EV is understandable. Its gas-powered counterpart has been doing well. But seeing how other car brands have started to penetrate the electric-vehicle niche, most felt that Kia would do the same. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
Among the problems that Kia has been trying to resolve is the availability of components. This includes batteries and electric motors for the Kia Soul EV. But it appears the cost of manufacturing one has gone beyond that. According to Roadshow insiders, a complex and costlier rear suspension for the electric version has added to their woes. Hence, Kia has allegedly opted to pass up on offering the Soul EV and focus on the Niro EV instead.
The fact that the Kia Niro EV is already in existence does appear to make the Soul EV unnecessary. It is already available with prices starting at $39,090 before incentives. It carries the same battery and motor architecture of the Soul EV. It is also rated for 239 miles of EPA range.
The Kia Soul EV would have given consumers options though pricing may turn some consumers off. Difficulty in getting parts and the expenses tied to it somehow hints at the potential suggested retail price as being too high. That is likely one of the main factors in the decision to scratch the Kia Soul EV.
Of course, anything can change in the coming years. But for now, there are no pending plans to launch a Kia Soul EV for 2021 in America. It remains to be seen if that would change moving forward. But based on how the COVID-19 has made it hard for businesses to stay afloat, it may take time (if not unlikely).
Some may be disappointed with this development. The gas-powered Kia Soul has been one of the popular choices among consumers who want an affordable and well-performing vehicle. Unfortunately, an electric counterpart is not coming (for now) and waiting for it holds no promises. Hence, all folks can do right now is consider the Kia Niro EV until the company can (hopefully) find a way to offer a wisely priced EV in the coming years.