Korean automaker Kia has accomplished quite a bit these past few years. Its transition into a mainstream automaker started in 2009 with the introduction of its hip, urban Soul.
Since then the manufacturer’s hallmark has been a deluge of new products and technologies including the Forte, Forte Koup, second-generation Sorento, third-generation Optima, third-generation Sportage, third-generation Rio and, earlier this year, its first full-size luxury vehicle, the Cadenza.
And while options on the Optima include both a turbocharged as well as a hybrid drivetrain, Kia has been mum on plans for an all-electric vehicle here in the U.S.
That all changed last Tuesday at a media event held in Minneapolis for the second-generation 2014 Kia Soul that goes on sale this year. At that venue, Kia announced plans to offer an all-electric variant of its hamster-friendly vehicle in select markets in 2014 while noting that the new model will be “a natural extension of the Soul’s urban-friendly place in the brand’s lineup.”
“Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia’s engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA. “The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version’s blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive.”
According to Kia, more details will emerge at an upcoming major U.S. auto show – a best guess at this point is the 2013 LA Auto Show in November. Those details will include specifics on its powertrain, range/MPGe, and packaging – including special interior and exterior design cues.