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Kia Motors plans first all-electric vehicle in the States

Kia Motors America (KMA) plans to offer an all-electric version of the company’s Soul 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 place in the brand’s lineup of 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,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA.

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 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 and a more powerful 47 kW lithium polymer battery.