By on September 26, 2018

The sound you hear is more range coming to the Kia Soul EV, but it’s not here yet. As such, the electric version of Kia’s shockingly popular Soul remains pretty much unchanged for 2019, with one exception: you can’t get the least expensive version anymore.

For buyers living outside California, this change won’t mess with plans or cost anyone a cent. They couldn’t get their hands on one, anyway.

As noticed by CarsDirect, the Korean automaker has pulled the plug on the Soul EVe in California, leaving buyers in that key green car market with a choice of Base or Plus. Those trims carry MSRPs of $34,845 and $36,845, respectively. The (apparently hard to find) EVe went for $33,145.

Kia only sells its Soul EV in states conforming to California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate, so it doesn’t have blanket coverage. It remains a pretty rare sight. Part of the cute ute’s problem is the range afforded by its small 30 kWh battery pack. At 111 miles, is significantly less that other EVs. Even low-priced electrics now boast a larger driving radius — the second-generation Nissan Leaf, for example, gets 151 miles. Even the bargain basement Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatch is rated at 124 miles. Looks and cargo space are on the Soul’s side, however.

Despite the carryover year, Kia isn’t ignoring the model. A vastly updated Soul EV should appear for the 2020 model year. Recent spy photos taken in Europe show a disguised Soul test vehicle with a range of 437 kilometers displayed on the dash, and that’s with a 92 percent charge. That tentatively puts range at around 500 km, or 311 miles. For comparison, the Hyundai Kona Electric earns a 258-mile rating from the EPA, with the Chevrolet Bolt garnering a 238-mile rating.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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4 Comments on “As New Model Looms, Kia Drops Bare-bones Soul EV Trim...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Wrong again. That mythical 500 km range is using the European WLTP protocol, which is still more optimistic than EPA testing than the former NEDC tests.

    So the EPA range is likely to be around 260 miles, or very close to the Kona EV which uses the same battery.

    • 0 avatar

      Bjorn Nyland got 510 km/ 318 miles at 56 mph in a Kona. For most of my driving, I’m in heavy traffic on 55 mph freeways that crawl along at even lower speeds, so I can easily hit WLTP and even NEDC ranges. It’s all about where you drive. Rural interstates at 70 mph and mountains and it gets a lot tougher.

  • avatar

    Why is the popularity so surprising? This is the spiritual successor to the Scion xB and Honda Element.

  • avatar

    The current Soul was a decent improvement over the original Soul.

    The 3G should be an even bigger improvement (not to say the least, the EV model).

    Getting available AWD would be the kicker (would explain why NA isn’t getting the Stonic).

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