The electric version of the new, third-generation Kia Soul won't join its gasoline-powered siblings in showrooms for the 2020 model year. Kia announced it was forced to delay the model.
American motorists seeking an electric Soul will need to wait until the 2021 model year, Green Car Reports learned. Kia blamed the delay on a shortage of electric motors, and on battery-pack-related supply issues, and it warned the new timeline might change. Autoblog reached out to the company to find out whether the delay is linked to its decision to sell only the electric variant of the hatchback on the European market. We can confirm the model already arrived in showrooms in many European nations, and several dealers we spoke to in France told us they had a handful in their inventory.
The Soul EV will be worth the wait when it finally disembarks in the United States. It can drive for up to 243 miles on a single charge, which is about twice the number its predecessor was capable of achieving. It shares its 64-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with the Hyundai Kona Electric, and it offers a Soul Turbo-like 201-horsepower output. We called it a top choice among entry-level electrics after driving it for the first time in its home country of South Korea.
The other reason why the Soul EV might be worth the wait is that Green Car Reports added Kia might choose to sell it in more states. The last-generation model axed after the 2019 model year was only available in 13 states, including Hawaii, New York, Georgia, and, of course, California.