At the media launch of the all-new 2014 Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) announced plans to offer an all-electric version of the company's iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle in select markets in 2014. Already one of KMA's best-selling vehicles, an all-electric variant is a natural extension of the Soul's urban-friendly place in the brand's lineup of award-winning vehicles. More details about the Soul EV's powertrain, range/MPGe, packaging and go-to-market strategy will be announced at an upcoming major U.S. auto show.
"Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA. "The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version's blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive."
Kia Motors was recently ranked by Interbrand as one of the "50 Best Global Green Brands," and Soul EV will be the second alternative-fuel Kia vehicle to be offered for sale in the U.S. The award-winning Optima Hybrid was introduced in 2011 and for 2013 sees a number of enhancements including numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery.
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.
Kia recently moved up in the exclusive ranking of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands" after joining the list for the first time last year, and the company is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Ga.
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