Kia electrifies its Soul

Kia announced today that it would offer an electric version of its Soul model.

2014 Kia Soul
Kia intends to offer a version of its 2014 Soul model with an electric drivetrain. Sarah Tew/CNET

Ditching hamsters for electrons, next year Kia will offer its boxy Soul model with an electric drivetrain, according to a statement by the Korean carmaker.

The statement was made as Kia readies the 2014 version of the gasoline Soul for dealer showrooms. Kia showed off the update earlier this year for the first time at the New York auto show.

Given its size, the Soul looks like a good choice for an electric drivetrain. The company had no details to offer about power or range, but the car would likely conform to the offering of other automakers, such as the Nissan Leaf , Ford Focus Electric , or Chevy Spark EV . These cars all have sub-100-mile range.

Along with developing expertise in what is likely to be the future of automotive drive systems, an electric Soul will help Kia comply with the California Air Resource Board's Zero Emission Vehicle mandate. As such, Kia writes that the electric Soul will only be available in select markets next year.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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