When it comes to the electric vehicle segment, Kia and its parent company Hyundai are lagging behind the competition, which is why the Korean companies are planning to launch their first mass produced EV as early as 2014.
According to a report from Kia World, an electrified version of the Kia Soul MPV is expected to launch in the first half of 2014 as a follow-up to the Kia Ray EV, which is a limited run vehicle destined exclusively for the South Korean government fleets.
Unlike the Ray EV, the Kia Soul EV will have a global presence, as it will be sold in the U.S., Europe and China. Compared to the Ray EV, the electric Soul is expected to deliver better performance and an increased mileage per charge.
The report says the Soul EV will have a driving range of about 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single charge, with top speed rated at 140 km/h (87 mph). The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is expected to take under 12 seconds, 4 seconds better that in the case of the Ray EV.
As for pricing, the Kia Soul EV will likely be more competitively priced that the smaller Ray, with sources saying that it could start from 40 million Korean Won ($35,000) in its home market.
By Dan Mihalascu