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Kia PBVs

Kia to launch range of electric vans

Kia is to bring a range of electric vans to market – although the company is calling them ‘Platform Beyond Vehicle’ (PBV).

Five Kia PBV concept models have been unveiled – three Concept PV5 derivatives, Concept PV7 and Concept PV1. The Kia Concept PV5 will enter mass production in 2025.

Phase one of Kia’s PBV strategy will see the introduction of the Kia PV5, an EV optimised for hailing, delivery and utilities, that features conversion capability for diverse customer needs.

Phase two will see the completion of the dedicated PBV model line-up, and PBVs will evolve into AI-based mobility platforms that use data to interact with users and ensure that the vehicles are always up to date. 

In phase three, Kia PBVs will evolve into highly customisable, bespoke mobility solutions, with connected self-driving vehicles managed as part of a single smart city operating system. A robust PBV ecosystem will be created based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s future technologies for autonomous driving, advanced air mobility, robotics, and the energy grid.

Utilising ‘Easy Swap’ technology to flexibly address the diverse demands of customers, a single vehicle chassis can be used to fulfil multiple mobility needs. Behind a fixed cab, or ‘driver zone’, a variety of interchangeable upper bodies, or ‘life modules’, can be connected to the base vehicle via a hybrid electromagnetic and mechanical coupling technology, turning the PBV into a taxi during the day, to a delivery van at night, and a personal recreational vehicle on weekends.

Modularisation is further made possible thanks to ‘Dynamic Hybrid’ weldless body structure assembly, which enables the length of moveable members to be flexibly adjusted according to vehicle use purpose. Comprised of high-strength tubular steel and engineered polymers, typical parts are reduced by 55 per cent with no loss in rigidity. Shipped in standardised, convenient kit form, Dynamic Hybrid technology will allow for the quick and simple in-field transformation of a Kia PV5.

On each vehicle, large doors open out to reveal an accommodating pillarless opening that provides effortless ingress and egress. Inside, the extended wheelbase and electric platform ensure wide, flat open spaces to offer various stowage and usage possibilities. The driver’s experience is also enhanced, as the cockpit provides a desk-like surface, and the steering wheel can be folded to serve as a desk lamp, creating an office-like environment.

In Phase One, various versions of the PV5 will be available, including Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab versions. In the future, Kia also plans to introduce a Robotaxi model which aims to provide a revolutionary autonomous hailing experience for passengers.

During Phase Two, two further models, the ‘PV7’ and ‘PV1’ will utilise cabinet and frame systems to enhance interaction and connectivity among vehicles based on the modular concept. The PV7 will be the largest product in the line-up, with more interior space, greater driving range, and enhanced functionalities. The PV1 will be the smallest product in the line-up, optimised for agile and short-distance logistics transportation, using driving modules to minimise turning radius even in narrow spaces.