Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2014 Kia Soul EV Spotted Testing

BY Joseph Capparella
Kia may be one of the last major automakers not to offer an all-electric vehicle in the U.S., but even though they are late to the party, the Korean automaker is looking to make a splash with the 2014 Kia Soul EV. Our spy photographers recently caught the rumored all-electric version of the boxy hatchback testing in Europe.
The Soul has been completely redesigned for 2014 with styling inspired by the Track’ster Concept from the 2012 Chicago auto show. Although the camouflage could be hiding a new grille design, expect the Soul EV to closely follow the distinctive look of the gas-powered 2014 Soul.
We’ve previously reported on the 2014 Kia Soul EV’s predicted powertrain and driving range, and we expect the Soul EV to be powered by a version of the Korean-market Kia Ray EV’s 50-kW electric motor and 16.4-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. In the smaller Ray, that powertrain provides an 86-mile driving range. The Soul’s setup will likely be more powerful, with a bigger battery pack. Some reports have predicted as much as 124 miles for the 2014 Soul EV’s range and an estimated starting price of around $35,000.
The 2014 Kia Soul EV should go on sale sometime during 2014, as the gasoline-powered 2014 Kia Soul will be in U.S. dealerships in the third-quarter of this year. The Soul has been a surprise success for Kia in the U.S., with the distinctively-styled hatchback becoming Kia’s second best-selling model behind the Optima midsize sedan. Although the Soul EV will likely be a small-volume model, it is significant as it will be the brand’s first EV offering outside its home market.