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2014 Kia Soul Electric Vehicle Confirmed — Model Line-up Expansion Continues As Automaker Enjoys Increasing Sales

Kia has announced that its next-generation Soul will offer the company’s first all-electric powertrain.

Slated for 2014 launch, details on Kia’s new EV are limited but disguised Soul development prototypes have already been spotted performing shakedown tests near Kia’s technical HQ located in Russelsheim, Germany, as well as on the roads of UK. Sources believe the electric Soul will make its public debut either at the Chicago or New York international auto shows.

Beyond the Soul EV, Kia has pushed for fuel efficiency technology in other vehicles in its line-up as well. Two years ago, Kia first introduced its Optima hybrid vehicle, which features a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine mated with an electric motor producing 40-hp with a unique lithium-polymer battery.

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What’s more, Kia has also developed an all-new range of diesel powerplants designed to meet Europe’s new Euro 6 pollution regulations. According to Kia engineer, the diesel engines will prove expensive to manufacture but still cost significantly less than its hybrid offerings, which is hindered by complex and expensive electrical components. Despite the challenges of creating a price-competitive hybrid, Kia has enjoyed climbing hybrid sales in Europe, rising nearly 80 percent from only 72,000 sold in 2008 to 129,000 units in 2012.


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