Not widely available. The 2019 Kia Soul EV isn’t as widely available as its conventional counterpart. It's difficult to find, even in states where it's marketed. These states include California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.
To acquire one, you’ll need to work with your dealer. It may take a few months for yours to arrive in the package of your choice.
EV-e trim is gone. Before this year, Kia offered a base EVe model for the California market only. For 2019, Kia aligns the California market with the rest of the nation, supplying consumers with a choice two trims: base EV and EV Plus.
The new base model comes well equipped with alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android smartphone compatibility, heated front seats, and a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The seats are covered in biofabric, offering ample comfort while emphasizing its sustainability credentials.
Middling EV range at best. We’re getting used to hearing about EVs with an electric range of 250 miles or more. That’s more the exception than the rule and typically includes cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt. More reasonable numbers include the 151-mile-range of the standard Nissan Leaf (though there's a Leaf Plus variant with a 226-mile range).
The Soul EV’s range is 111 miles, which isn't far off from the Hyundai Ioniq Electric’s 124-mile range or the 115 miles of the now-retired Ford Focus Electric. But that’s still an improvement over the Fiat 500e (84 miles) and the Honda Clarity Electric (89 miles).
That said, the Soul EV is ideal for anyone living in an urban area seeking an emissions-free commute. It also supplies a quick charge – as fast as 45 minutes with a fast-charger connection.
Tax breaks for the masses. Like other electric vehicles, the Soul EV may qualify owners for generous tax credits, rebates, and other incentives. For starters, a federal tax credit of $7,500 may be claimed and applied to your taxes. It won’t lower your upfront costs, but it could reduce your tax burden.
In some states, including California, rebates are offered which represent funds eligible consumers may claim at purchase, lowering their upfront costs accordingly. Other incentives include a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption and Discount in New Jersey, a toll discount program in New York, and a reduction in the in-home electricity charging rates in Texas.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Kia Soul EV closes the curtain on the first-generation of this electric vehicle. An all-new 2020 model arrives this year and comes with a 64-kilowatt battery pack. This enables Kia to more than double its electric range, to about 233 miles.
With this in mind, expect Kia to aggressively discount the 2019 model as it clears inventory ahead of the 2020’s spring release.