An all-electric version of the Kia Soul will launch in 2014, the company confirmed today. The car will be publicly revealed at a "major U.S. auto show," at which time details on its performance, driving range, and price will also be announced. That debut could be as soon as the Los Angeles auto show in November.
Rumors have circulated for many months that the Kia Soul would spawn an electric version. We even spotted a prototype that our spy photographer believed had an electric drivetrain underhood. When the electric Kia Soul does debut, it will be only the second electrified Kia product in the U.S., after the Optima Hybrid sedan, and the company's first American-market all-electric model.
"The Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," Kia executive director of planning Orth Hedrick said in a statement.
Reports suggest the Kia Soul could use a lithium-ion battery pack giving a driving range of about 124 miles. Kia is also said to be aiming for the $35,000-mark with its electric car -- matching the price tag of the 2014 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, for instance.
The standard 2014 Kia Soul (pictured) was recently redesigned and introduced at the 2013 New York auto show. Pricing for the funky hatchback starts at $15,495, after destination charges. Updates for the new Kia Soul include more dramatic styling, chassis changes meant to improve ride and handling, and new electric power steering.