Kia hopes to find 100 to 200 UK customers in 2015 for its new Soul EV electric vehicle which is being launched today.
The car, which will be offered by 13 dealerships within Kia's network, has a list price of £24,995 after the £5,000 Government grant is deducted, and Kia claims a range of up to 132 miles.
The Soul EV is backed by Kia's standard seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty, which is tranferable if the car is sold on, and buyers can choose a £199 Care3 add-on package which covers the first three years' services.
Kia said: "The Soul EV is the result of almost 30 years of research and development by Kia into the feasibility of electric cars. Now, with battery technology having reached a mature stage and emissions-based taxation providing an incentive for consumers to ‘go electric’, the time is right for the Soul EV."
Outwardly, the only obvious differences between the Soul EV and the models powered by internal combustion engines are the front end devoid of a radiator grille, the absence of a fuel filler flap and the unique rear light clusters.
In the UK the Soul EV is available in a choice of metallic blue or silver, with interior upholstery in grey cloth with blue stitching, while the fascia panel, door inserts and gear selector are finished in gloss white.
The instrument cluster housing, door inserts, steering wheel and gearshifter are trimmed in leather.
Standard EV features include an eight-inch touch-screen with European mapping, reversing camera and charging point locator; cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a DAB radio.
The car is also supplied with the wallbox charger and virtual engine sound.
Apart from qualifying for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, the Soul EV is currently exempt from UK road tax (VED), company car tax (BIK) and the London Congestion Charge.