Kia confirmed Thursday that its next-generation all-electric Soul EV won't arrive for the 2020 model year, but instead will be delayed until 2021.
Kia spokesman Neil Dunlop confirmed the news to Green Car Reports. Dunlop said the delay was due to limited battery supply and electric motor shortages. Dunlop said the Soul EV is slated to arrive sometime in 2021 at the earliest, although that may change.
The newest Soul EV was slated to arrive around spring 2019 and improve on the 111-mile range of the last generation, which was discontinued after the 2019 model year.
The Soul EV has a 64-kwh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, borrowed from the Niro EV, and it was rated by the EPA for 2020 to return 243 miles of electric range, even though it won't arrive this year. The new Soul EV uses the CCS (Combo) standard for 100-kw fast-charging (the last version used CHAdeMO), quicker than the Bolt EV and the Hyundai Kona EV.
When it arrives next year, the Soul EV will be front-wheel drive only, with a 201 horsepower (150 kw) electric motor that makes 291 pound-feet of torque. The 2021 Soul EV's styling borrows heavily from the current Soul, which was new for the 2020 model year, but adds unique 17-inch wheels, an insert into the grille, and unique lights up front. Inside, a 10.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment and the Soul EV's practical, boxy shape will be a boon to city-dwellers when it arrives.
The small Kia hatchback also will receive the automaker's latest active safety features including automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.
The Soul EV is built on top of the same global architecture that underpins the Kona EV, which has also been supply-constrained in the U.S. due to its popularity in Europe and limited production abilities. Kia sells EVs in 13 states, which may expand by the time the Soul EV arrives in 2021.