An electric version of the next-generation Kia Soul tester we’ve spied before may be coming to the U.S., where it will also be officially unveiled sometime next year, Autocar reports. The Kia Soul EV could arrive in the States as early as 2014.
Though an electric Soul would be the first Kia EV in the U.S. market, it wouldn’t be the automaker’s first crack at an EV. The Korean market-exclusive Kia Ray EV, introduced last year, has a range of up to 86 miles on a single charge, and is powered by a 50kW electric motor that puts out 129 lb-ft. or torque. Its 16.4kWh lithium-ion battery can be fast-charged in just 25 minutes, and slow-charged in six hours. Although it’s unknown what would power the Soul EV, the Kia Ray could give us a hint at what we can expect.
The quirky box car is already a hot item in the U.S. So far this year, Kia’s second best-seller has sold 93,356 copies — more than the Sportage and Forte combined. Although the Soul doesn’t necessarily need help in the sales department, a low-volume EV could give Kia some green credibility. A Soul EV could also compete with other ultra-low volume EVs including the upcoming Fiat 500 BEV, smart fortwo Electric Drive, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, and Honda Fit EV.