"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. AutoBlogGreen."