Kia’s new 2020 Soul EV has been introduced in Europe with a new name: the e-Soul. The Soul will only be sold in Europe as an all-electric model. Kia announced the e-Soul today, and it will make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Kia’s decision to release the car as solely electric in Europe makes sense when you look at the sales of the previous model. Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, said:

“The market has changed significantly in recent years, and in 2018 – the outgoing model’s final year on-sale, Kia sold more of the zero-emissions Soul EV in Europe than petrol and diesel versions combined. Kia is recognized today as a global leader in electrified vehicles, with a growing range of mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Electrified models accounted for one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe in 2018, up from one in 10 in 2017, and the new e-Soul will further build on this momentum.”

e-Soul will come in standard-range (39.2 kWh battery with 100 kW motor) and long-range (64 kWh/150 kW) options. Kia says the e-Soul will go on sale across Europe “towards the end of the first quarter of 2019”.

Kia E-Soul claims:

  • Fully-electric driving range of up to 452 kilometres from a single charge (280 Miles WLTP)
  • 25% greater cell-energy density with new-generation battery chemistry
  • More power and faster acceleration from new electric motors – and up to 30% more energy efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric car
  • Kia introduces new UVO CONNECT ‘connected car’ telematics system
  • Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charging capability as standard; aids usability on wide range of journeys
  • On-sale in Europe from first quarter of 2019 with 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty

We saw the debut of the 2020 Soul EV at the LA Auto Show last November. The Soul EV has the same battery and powertrain as the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona. In the US, the 2020 Kia Soul EV recently received a 243-mile EPA range rating.

Electrek’s Take:

Lucky Europe gets the Kia Soul EV or e-Soul a half year before it makes it to the US and with what appears to be a lower cost 39.2kWh battery option. Back of napkin math will put that base model at a little under 186 WLTP miles or 2/3rds the 64kWh version’s 280 mile/452 km range. In the US, the EPA will probably give the smaller battery pack a 150-ish mile range.

That’s still a pretty good number and it beats the Renault Zoe (“Europe’s current best-selling electric car”) not only in range but in efficiency. As Kia notes, that is particularly impressive, especially given the bigger size of the e-Soul.

Also interesting and important: Kia isn’t going to offer the ICE Soul in Europe.

I think this will be a very popular car with the caveat that Kia/Hyundai don’t seem to want to make enough of these to satisfy the market.

 


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