Wasn't it supposed to be on sale by now?
Over a year ago, we reported the new for 2020 Kia Soul EV was going to be delayed for the US market. No explanation was given at the time, but the automaker promised it would go on sale sometime this year. Fast forward to last October and Kia admitted to a second delay, only there was a reason: too few batteries.
The demand for EVs, including the hot-selling Hyundai Kona EV, had exceeded expectations. It wasn't exactly a bad problem to have, but still a problem no less. The South Korean automaker further promised the Soul EV would instead arrive for the 2021 model year. Well, 2021 vehicles are now arriving in dealerships and, so far, no Soul EV. Now, Roadshow has learned from an anonymous Kia source the Soul EV has now been canceled outright for the US market.
The supposed reason comes down to several factors, including the aforementioned battery supply issues. Another problem the vehicle faces is the fact it utilizes an independent rear suspension, something the regular Soul does not have. This design element not only makes the Soul EV more complex to build but also likely more expensive. Opting to abandon the Soul EV will also enable the company to focus more on making sure the already-on-sale Kia Niro EV, which has the same battery pack and electric motor, doesn't suffer from similar supply issues.
When reached for comment, a Kia spokesperson admitted they were unaware of the Soul EV's supposed cancelation but did admit the company has "no pending plans to introduce [the vehicle] before 2021 at the earliest."
True, this isn't denying the Soul EV's canceled status, but the likelihood of a vehicle going on sale following a two-year delay (at least) isn't good. Furthermore, Kia has removed any mention of the Soul EV on its US website. Even the EPA removed it from its own website. It was previously listed with an official rating of 243 miles.
Given the fact the Niro lineup is expected to be completely redesigned in a couple of years, the Soul EV's US market chances suddenly look even less likely.