The Kia Soul has been a surprising hit in the United States, as the iconic funky wagon-ish car with the hip hamster commercials has exceeded expectations and trounced all other box-shaped cars, on pace to sell nearly 150,000 units this year. Starting in late October or early November, a very small fraction of those will be powered exclusively by electricity.
Today Kia issued a press release stating that the 2015 Kia Soul EV will reach the United States with an MSRP of $33,700 for the Base model and $35,700 for a slightly more well-equipped Plus trim (both exclude a $800 destination fee and the $7,500 available federal tax credit).
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The Base model includes features like LED running lights, navigation, Bluetooth, and a 6.6 kW onboard charger, while the Plus trim adds fancy leather seats, fog lights and power mirrors. Both will be CHAdeMO fast-charge equipped.
Lease rates will be attractive, with a 36-month lease expected to start at $249 per month with $1,999 due at signing.
How does it compare?
The Soul EV comes in at a price point fairly typical of its class. The best-selling Nissan LEAF and its 84 miles of range starts at $28,980 before destination fees for the basic S trim, though the midlevel SV goes for $32,000 while the top-trim SL will set you back $35,120.
The Volkswagen e-Golf, available in only one trim and an unspecified range between 70 and 90 miles, comes with a $35,445 price tag. It will be available in November. If range anxiety is holding you back, a 2015 Chevrolet Volt goes for $34,345 before destination fees.
Speaking of that so-called “range anxiety,” the 2015 Soul EV uses a slightly larger battery than its competitors – a 27-kWh lithium polymer pack – that allegedly is responsible for 40% of the vehicle’s cost. However, it does approach the magic triple digits with an EPA-rated 93 miles of range.
This range results from EPA-rates efficiency values of 92 MPGe highway and 120 MPGe in the city.
The Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp electric motor producing 210 lb-ft of torque, which results in a punchy yet long 12-second 0 to 60 time. Top speed will be limited to 90 miles per hour.
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Now for the bad news: Kia can only make about 5,000 Soul EVs annually in its current production facility, and though the U.S. will be its largest market the Soul EV will initially be restricted to a few select regions (i.e. California). Kia refers to it as a “mass-market” electric vehicle, meaning they don’t want it to be labeled a compliance car, but you may find it difficult to get your hands on one.