Hybrids & Electrics

The surprising reason Americans Have to Wait Until 2021 for the Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV is killing it in Asia and across Europe. This zippy little electrified Kia box is dominating the world as the next big thing in urban driving. But we still can’t get it here in the US.

The Kia Soul was supposed to release on US soil this Spring, but some production hiccups held it back from making its debut. Though the Kia Soul EV has received global recognition as the Urban Car of the Year from the World Car Awards, this spunky city car eludes us.

The South Korean auto brand announced that the Kia Soul EV will not arrive in the US in 2020. Those of us in America will have to wait to see this awarded EV in select states when the 2021 model releases here next year.

Supply chain issues

Let’s face it –– so far, 2020 has not been our year. Due to the global upturn, the auto industry is suffering in a number of areas. The supply chain has taken a massive hit due to travel restrictions economic strain, and according to Kia Motors there are just not enough of the electric batteries used in both the Kia Niro and Kia Soul Ev.

“The global demand for electrification, particularly in Europe with their (carbon-dioxide) taxation, (is high). Everyone in Europe has to by 2020 get to this 95 grams (of CO2 per 100 km target). The demand in other regions of the world for Niro product is extremely high.”

Michael Cole, chief operating officer of Kia Motors America 

After being named the Urban Car of the Year in the 2020 World Car Awards, the Kia Soul EV is likely to grow in popularity. But, no matter how much we want it –– even just for a test drive –– it’s sadly out of our reach.

People are also loving the Kia Niro electric vehicle

Part of the problem with the race to meet high demand with ample production supply is the simple fact of the Kia Niro rapidly gaining global traction. Because both electric vehicles use the same battery, Kia has opted to use the batteries that would have otherwise gone into a Kia Soul EV and use them in the Niro production line.

The Kia Niro and e-Soul battery is in high demand

The 243 mile range Soul is just going to have to bench it for a while, but 2021 will hopefully see the long awaited Kia Soul EV rolling out of production with Americans behind the wheel.

All this said, if you are just dying for a new Kia EV, the Niro is actually great. If it’s an efficient and affordable EV you’re searching for –– and you want it right now –– you may be fine to pass on the Soul and opt for the Kia Niro.

the new Kia Niro

On the other hand, if you are a hype beast waiting for that coveted award-winning Kia e-Soul to hit the American market, it’s coming. Just be prepared to wait at least a year due to supply chain issues, market discrepancies, and a sheer lack of the supply needed to meet present demand.

2021 should be exciting

In short, Kia is currently focused on Asian and European production and deliveries, giving them priority over the US. The EU has much greater emissions regulations, so the demand for alternative fuel motors is higher than here in the states.

Because of this balancing act, the Kia Soul is being held back on terms of helping Kia meet global supply and demand. Come 2021, the Kia e-soul will be taking the US by storm in an all-new updated Kia Soul EV 2021 model.