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Kia sees electrical vans as key merchandise for mobility, autonomous tech


Kia is betting massive on electrical vans, and it is leaping in with plans to construct a brand new manufacturing unit inside its present Hwaseong, South Korea, manufacturing advanced devoted to the manufacturing of them.

Building is scheduled to start within the first half of 2023, with car manufacturing scheduled to begin within the second half of 2025, Kia mentioned Wednesday. It is focusing on 100,000 models per 12 months initially, with an eventual improve to 150,000 models yearly.

The automobiles manufactured at this manufacturing unit will probably be what Kia calls “Objective Constructed Automobiles” (PBVs), which is the automaker’s time period for electrical industrial automobiles.

Rendering of Kia Purpose Built Vehicles

Rendering of Kia Objective Constructed Automobiles


“We’ll initially discover new markets with by-product PBV fashions, then steadily increase our presence in world markets with devoted PBV fashions that includes autonomous driving applied sciences,” Kia CEO Ho Sung Track mentioned in an announcement.

Kia has mentioned that it’ll kick off its PBV lineup with a continuation of the first-generation Kia Niro EV—primarily as a taxi particular for Kia’s residence market. Future PBV fashions would probably match alongside the seven devoted EVs Kia plans by 2027—so along with fashions just like the EV6, Niro EV, and upcoming electrical pickup and EV9 SUV.

Kia Niro Plus  -  purpose-built electric taxi

Kia Niro Plus – purpose-built electrical taxi

The primary devoted PBV mannequin will probably be a mid-size car, Kia mentioned. Codenamed SW, it would use a brand new platform referred to as eS designed particularly for the PBVs.

Following the launch of this mannequin in 2025, Kia plans to supply a spread of automobiles, together with “unmanned micro-sized PBVs,” shuttles, and bigger automobiles “that can be utilized as cell places of work or outlets.” All PBVs will function over-the-air (OTA) replace functionality, Kia mentioned.

The PBVs are a part of the $25 billion “Plan S” shift to EVs Kia kicked off in 2020. Final 12 months, the automaker up to date its sustainability roadmap to incorporate hydrogen and plans for carbon neutrality.


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