Published on June 20th, 2014 | by Important Media Cross-Post


Kia Soul EV Production Begins

June 20th, 2014 by  

Editor’s Note: The Kia Soul EV is one of the most eagerly awaited electric vehicles slated for market. Not because it’s a wicked awesome vehicle, but because it’s a mass market vehicle that is supposed to have a good price. It could end up one of the top EV sellers if the price is right and production is scaled to that level. Good news is that production is now starting…

Kia Soul EV Begins Production In Korea


Production of the Kia Soul EV  begun at Kia’s factory in Gwangju, Korea this week, with the first Kia Soul EV available for sale in North America in the second half of 2014. While Kia has previously offered electric cars – the Venga EV and the Ray EV – to its domestic customers, this will be the first time Kia has sold an EV outside the home country.

Kia’s experience with those home market electric vehicles has led to development of the second generation technology featured in the Soul EV. For instance, the 27 kWh battery in the new model has the highest energy density currently available in any EV, and can get an 80% recharge in just 30 minutes. Kia believes that EVs, rather than plug-in hybrids, are the way to go since most electrics now have enough range to meet the daily driving needs of the majority of customers.

Unfortunately, the 109 horsepower means acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH takes about 12 seconds, which is even longer than the Toyota Prius, and until pricing is announced, it’ll be hard to fairly compare it against cars like the Nissan Leaf. Even so, Kia has set a target of 5000 Soul EV sales this year, implying high hopes for their electric ambitions.


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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  • Benjamin Nead

    Earlier press releases I saw for the Kia Soul EV indicated that it would be a California-only compliance car. Has this changed? Anyone know for sure?

  • So is the range still claimed to be 120miles? Seems high from a pack only 3kWh higher than a LEAF.

    • Steve Grinwis

      The leaf seems to get poor range for its battery pack, for some reason. Both the smart and the i-miev have packs 60 % the size, but more than 60% the range.

  • Ronald Brakels

    Plenty of perfectly serviceable town cars have 0 to 60 times of over 15 seconds, so a time of 12 seconds isn’t bad at all. And for a town car it’s the 0 to 40 time that really matters, since 99% of its accelerating will be done in that range, and because of the way electric motors work this may be better than the 0 to 60 time would suggest.

    • Bob_Wallace

      City driving?

      It’s the zero to creep speed that matters….

      • Ronald Brakels

        Coming from Wonwoomba I have to say I always feel creeped out if I can see another car on the road when I’m driving. But in our cities these days new drivers are taught to stomp on the accelerator and stay close behind the car in front in an attempt to squeeze more transportation out of our congested roadways. When I learned to drive we were told the minimum stopping distance for a car travelling at 60 kilometers an hour and were expected to use that as a “safe” following distance, as if hard to spot solid diamond walls blocking our roadways and causing instant deacceleration to the car in front were a common problem.

        • jeffhre

          Following distances are partly determined by safe stopping distances. Newer brakes = shorter stopping distances, with less lag and less fading. Moving from drums to disks made a huge difference.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Moving to adaptive cruise control and auto-braking is going to allow us to tighten up distances a lot.

            GM just announced that they are leasing cars that talk to each other. As that technology spreads your car will know what cars several slots in front of them are doing.

  • Wayne Williamson

    This is excellent news. The more sources for EVs the better. Cheaper ones are even better. I wonder if Korea has a “giga” factory for lion batteries…probably….

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