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Kia Unveils Fleet of Customizable Electric Vans


Kia has made a comeback at CES after a five-year hiatus, unveiling its new modular EV platform named Platform Beyond Vehicles (PBV). While these vehicles are currently in the concept stage and not available for general consumer purchase, Kia’s first planned vehicle under this platform, the PV5 Electric Vans, is designed for business utilities such as ride-hailing, delivery services, and other commercial applications.

One of the standout features of the PV5 is its modular design, which Kia showcased in four different configurations. The standard setup is a small van, but users have the flexibility to interchange components. An extended roof option is available for those needing additional space, and the electric vans can transform into a pickup truck configuration by swapping out the back two-thirds. Furthermore, there’s a taxi configuration specifically tailored for passenger transportation. The interior of the PV5 is entirely modular, allowing for these versatile transformations to meet various business needs. While currently in the concept phase, this modular approach could potentially offer innovative solutions for a range of business and transportation requirements in the future.

Kia’s announcement of the PV5 comes with a focus on business utilities, and while specific details about autonomous capabilities were not explicitly mentioned, the company expressed its intention to collaborate with Motional to develop a Robotaxi PV5. This suggests a future vision for an autonomous ride-hailing experience using the PV5 platform.

As part of Kia’s concept lineup, the company also teased two other vehicles: the PV7 and PV1. The PV7 is the largest in the series, offering more interior space and an extended driving range. On the other hand, the PV1 is designed to be small and agile, suitable for last-mile deliveries. What makes this setup interesting is the inclusion of a rail system that can link the PV7 and PV1, facilitating the efficient transfer of cargo from the larger PV7 to the smaller PV1. While these vehicles are currently in the concept stage, the concept of an integrated and modular system for different business needs, including last-mile deliveries and autonomous ride-hailing, hints at a forward-thinking approach by Kia in the evolving landscape of electric and autonomous mobility.


While specific details about the timeline for the transition of Kia’s Platform Beyond Vehicles (PBV) initiative from concept to production are not provided, the company is taking concrete steps to bring it to fruition. Kia is actively constructing a dedicated PBV plant in Korea, signaling a commitment to the development and manufacturing of these modular electric vehicles.

The manufacturing capacity of this dedicated plant is projected to reach 150,000 vehicles in 2025, with plans for potential expansion to 300,000 vehicles at an unspecified future date. This suggests that Kia is making substantial investments in the PBV initiative, aiming for a significant production scale in the coming years. While the exact release date of the PBV vehicles for public use is not explicitly mentioned, the construction of a dedicated plant and the planned manufacturing capacity indicate that Kia is positioning itself to potentially launch PBVs on the road in the near future, possibly as early as the next year.

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