Highly modular, commercial-ready EVs
Would allow for interchangeable bodywork
Kia is looking at the commercial side of the auto industry. It has just announced what it calls Kia Platform BEyond Vehicle solutions that will give electric blank-slate vehicles to businesses that need space and flexibility.
What exactly is Platform Beyond Vehicle? The company doesn’t define the term and throws around a lot of mobility buzzwords. What matters is that the vehicles will offer high levels of customisation, and will have hardware and software aimed at businesses.
The first phase of the project is the Kia PV5. An EV meant for ride-hailing, delivery, and similar customer tasks. It will be the mid-sized offering in the lineup.
Phase two will launch the remaining models. Two smaller and one larger. Kia says they will use AI to interact with users for updates and an experience that can be shared with the rest of a user’s fleet, and their devices. Kia suggests uses like sharing route or delivery information.
The last phase is pure buzz. “In phase three, Kia PBVs are expected to evolve into highly customizable, bespoke mobility solutions by integrating with the future mobility ecosystem.”
Kia’s vehicle platform will have a fixed driver zone and allow interchangeable body shapes behind it. The bodies will be coupled using a combination of magnets and traditional hardware, which could make it a taxi by day, a delivery van by night, and a camper on the weekend.
Kia said that the PBV models will be built at a dedicated plant in Korea. Partners around the world will allow customisation on a local level. The factory is set to open next year and has a capacity of around 150,000 units annually.