Kia Soul EV

The heart of the matter is that the battery-electric Kia Soul is better for the environment. And not just because it doesn't create any emissions while on the road. From beginning to end, the Soul EV has a far lower environmental impact than its more conventional counterparts.

TUV Nord, the German technical inspection group, says the Soul EV has a carbon footprint that is 40-percent smaller than the one from the diesel-powered Soul sold in Europe. That's factoring in everything from the materials that go into building the car to the recyclability once it's defunct to, of course, tailpipe emissions. Or lack thereof.

Kia plans to start sales of the Soul EV in its native South Korea sometime this year and is keeping global sales expectations modest, saying it plans to make about 5,000 Soul EVs annually. The car will be priced at the equivalent of about $39,000 US in South Korea, though government subsidies will cut that down a bit. Kia hasn't set an official launch date for the car in the US, but expects for the Soul EV to be available to Americans by the end of the year, Kia US spokesman James Hope told AutoblogGreen. Check out the press release about the Kia Soul EV's TUV Nord score below and read our First Drive impressions of the model here.
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Kia Soul EV earns whole-life environmental certificate

- Soul EV achieves major TÜV Nord Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) certificate
- ISO 14040 certification considers whole-life environmental impact of Soul EV

(SEOUL) June 18, 2014 – The Kia Soul EV has become the latest model from the Korean brand to earn important certification for its outstanding whole-life environmental credentials.

TÜV Nord, an independent technical inspection organisation, has certified the new Kia Soul EV according to the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standard. LCA examines the environmental impact of both the car and the overall manufacturing process throughout its whole life, taking into account factors such as choice of materials, tailpipe emissions and recycling.

Comparing the Soul EV to its diesel counterpart currently on sale in Europe, the zero-emissions electric vehicle scored particularly strongly for 'Global Warming Potential', emitting 39.7% fewer greenhouse gases over the whole life of the vehicle, such as carbon dioxide and methane. The Soul EV also scored an improvement in 'Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential', limiting the amount of smog created by the vehicle's manufacturing process and by the vehicle itself throughout its life.

Kia's first TÜV Nord certification was earned in 2008 with the first-generation cee'd, and this year's certifications bring the total number of Kia models with ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) certification to 11.

The product development process employed by Kia is aimed at minimising the environmental footprint of Kia's manufacturing operations, and all cars developed by the brand since 2006 have been built with the LCA in mind.

This more environmentally-friendly development process covers five major steps:

- Application of a check-sheet to evaluate the vehicle's environmental credentials throughout its lifecycle
- Utilisation of 3D drawings at the design stage to verify recyclability
- Detailed physical analysis of the product during the development process to verify recyclability
- Use of eco-friendly materials
- Streamlining of the manufacturing process through improvements in use of materials and simplification of parts design

The Soul EV produced for both Korean and European markets has been ISO 14040-certified, with models for the North American market due to follow in August.

Earlier this year, Kia announced its intention to achieve ISO 50001 certification across all its global production facilities which will result in tighter management of energy consumption. ISO 50001 is an international standard on corporate energy conservation planning and implementation. Kia's Gwangju plant has been ISO 50001-certified since 2012, with other facilities due to follow.

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 2.7 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in 10 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 150 countries. Kia today has around 48,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$43 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan – "The Power to Surprise" – represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.