Korean OEMs seem to have figured out how to make good electric vehicles. The cars are well-made and offer better efficiency than anyone other than Tesla, which is why it only took an hour’s test drive for the Kia Soul EV to make it to my “top 10 for 2019” list. We got that opportunity because Kia rustled up a single Soul EV to last year’s World Car Awards test drive event: the electric “boar with a backpack” was in the running for (and won) World Urban Car of 2019. Which is why I read a report over at Roadshow with such alarm this morning.
According to an unnamed source, Roadshow reported that Kia has decided not to import the Soul EV to these shores, due to stiff demand for the BEV elsewhere and a limited supply of lithium-ion. As evidence for this cancellation, Roadshow points to the fact that there is now no longer an entry for the MY2020 Soul EV on the EPA’s fuel economy website.
However, Kia has told Ars that it has not made any official announcement, “other than there are no pending plans to introduce before 2021 at the earliest.” This suggests to us that, in fact, the box-like BEV is probably still US-bound but delayed by a year. That’s obviously not great for those of us who want to see more EVs replace conventionally powered cars, but given the perilous situation in the United States thanks to an uncontrolled pandemic, it’s also somewhat understandable.