2020 Kia Soul EV Release Date Reportedly Delayed By A Year

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 9, 2019

At last year's Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled the all-new Kia Soul, including the all-electric variant: the 2020 Soul EV. At the time, Kia stated the car would go on sale in 2019, but it looks like the South Korean automaker won't hit that timeline anymore. According to a recent report by Wards Auto, the new Soul EV has been delayed in the U.S. until 2020.

In an interview with the outlet, Kia Motors America's chief operating officer, Michael Cole stated, “Soul EV will probably be (coming to the U.S.) next year.” Cole didn't provide a specific reason for the delay, but did hint at a lack of Kia Niro EV sales as the culprit. CarsDirect reached out to a spokesperson, but they declined to provide additional insight.

As Wards Auto points out, there has been a decrease of roughly 1,000 units for the Niro nameplate from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Cole claimed the drop was due to “supply issues,” but the lack of sales could have Kia questioning whether the Soul EV is worth adding to the lineup.

Since Kia doesn't differentiate between the Niro, Niro PHEV, and Niro EV, it's tough to lock down specific sales figures. InsideEVs claims that Kia has only sold 40 Niro EVs this year and a total of 1,259 Niro PHEV models. Those figures are less than Kia's sister company, Hyundai, is doing with its electrified vehicles. Hyundai sold 284 units of the Ioniq PHEV, 103 units of the Ioniq EV, and 220 Kona Electric crossovers.

2020 Kia Soul EV

Compared to the old Soul EV, the 2020 model is a major step up in every way possible. The 2020 Soul EV will have a 201-hp electric motor and a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The result is an EPA-estimated range of 243 miles and a zero-to-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds. While both are impressive compared to the old Soul, they fall behind the Niro EV and the Kona Electric. The Niro EV has a range of 239 miles, while the Kona Electric can travel 258 miles on a full charge.

The key differences between the three come down to size and price. The Soul EV will be smaller than the other models and is expected to be cheaper when it hits the market. The Kona Electric starts at $37,995, while the Niro EV costs $39,495. We expect the Soul EV to be slightly more affordable, as it's smaller and has less range.

More and more automakers are coming out with electric vehicles, so it's not like the Soul EV will be alone in the segment. There's the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Volkswagen e-Golf, as well as Kia and Hyundai's other electric cars. Having another vehicle that is priced similarly to these vehicles and has a similar range does make sense on paper, but with more options to choose from than ever, the Soul EV will have to make a case for itself in the competitive market.

Learn more about the upcoming Soul EV »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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