Bruce Newton September 16, 2011
2012 Kia Soul
Soul EV on the agenda for Australia.
Kia Australia is lobbying hard for a battery electric cross-over due to launch in 2014.
The cross-over EV, thought to be based on the second generation Soul due on sale in 2013, was confirmed during an official presentation on the Kia stand at the Frankfurt auto show.
No details were given, only the 2014 timing and the description of the vehicle as “all-electric.”
However, Kia Australia senior product manager Nick Reid confirmed the project was well known internally and a target for Australia.
“We are definitely asking for it,” Reid said. “We understand Australia is not leading the world when it comes to EVs, but they are coming. We’ve got Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev here and we will have Volt soon and Prius plug-in.
“So surely there is momentum for EVs.”
Reid also predicted sales opportunities for EVs would come from major business fleets, which would come under increasing legislative and societal pressure to cut their emissions.
“It’s a brand thing as well,” he added. “It’s not all about market share.”
By contrast, Kia Australia attempts to gain access to the Optima hybrid appear to have foundered because the car cannot be converted to right-hand drive.