- Kia intends to build a factory for electric purpose built vehicles (PBVs), which it hopes to be able to offer as soon as 2025.
- The automaker intends to use its eS skating platform to design commercial vehicles for companies, including delivery vehicles and mobile shops.
- Kia intends to offer advanced autonomous driving capabilities for this range of PBVs. It will also include delivery robots.
Kia is already a success with the EV6. But the automaker will soon enter a new segment that has received a lot of attention by startups small and large: the electric purpose-built vehicles (or PBVs). South Korean automaker Kia revealed plans to construct a new plant for PBVs within the next few years. The plant will target commercial buyers.
The lucrative market for such vehicles is at stake from logistics giants, as well as other businesses like ride-hailing apps. Kia seeks to pair EVs to the anticipated arrival of advanced autonomous technology that will allow fleets of driverless vehicles, which can perform a range of transportation and delivery tasks.
Kia shared a few renderings that preview its concept for its upcoming PBVs. The first model is expected to arrive in the second half 2025. The renderings include MPV sketches and delivery, while some may have similarities to Canoo designs.
Kia intends to use its eS platform for skateboarding to support a range of electric models that target different business uses.
Ho Sung Song (PBV Facility) is the president and CEO at Kia Corporation. “Initially, we will explore new markets with PBV derivatives and then expand our global presence using dedicated PBV models with autonomous driving technology.
Kia will begin construction of the PBV plant at its Hwaseong South Korean manufacturing site in 2023. This means that it won’t be the first automaker with such vehicles. Rivian and BrightDrop are closer to commercial launches. Kia should be one of the largest volume makers in the second half decade with its 100,000 annual production.
The automaker indicated that the first PBV would be a mid-size model codenamed SW. Following its debut, Kia will add multi-seat shuttles, logistic vehicles, food delivery trucks, and unmanned micro-sized PBVs to its lineup.
Kia is talking here about delivery robots. They are still at an early stage in commercial rollouts. Automaker plans to develop vehicles that can transport passengers or large cargo. The automaker also promises PBVs large enough to be used as mobile offices or shops.
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