Kia Soul EV Export Production Starts

Kia has started volume production of its Soul EV for export sales.

The zero-emissions Soul EV is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be marketed by the company outside Korea.

Kia said the first vehicles off the production line are destined for select European countries and are scheduled to go on sale across Europe during the second half of the year.

The Soul EV is manufactured at Kia’s Gwangju facility in Korea, where annual output of the electric car is initially planned to reach 5,000 units, added Kia.

“Now that production of export models has begun, the new Soul EV is truly at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, providing environmentally-friendly transport to our customers around the world,” said Thomas Oh, Executive Vice President and COO, Kia Motors Corporation. “Although it is Kia’s first globally-sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and benefits significantly from our in-depth experience gained from development of the Ray EV and proven daily operations of the Ray EV fleet in Korea for the past three years.”

The Soul EV incorporates a 192-cell 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Power comes from an 81.4 kilowatt electric motor driving the front wheels via a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit.

The electric powertrain allows acceleration to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) predicted by Kia to take 11.2 seconds, while top speed is said to be in the region of 145 kph (90 mph).

Kia added the new Soul EV has achieved the world automotive industry’s first UL Environment Validation for containing 23,942 grams of bio-based plastic and 10 percent bio-based organic carbon content. Soul EV’s recyclable interior materials include Bio Plastic, Bio Foam, Bio Fabric and Bio PET Felt, together with low volatile organic compounds and newly developed antibacterial materials and paint.