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Kia to start production of electric PBV in Korea by 2025

Korean auto major Kia Corporation to establish an all-new, high-tech smart manufacturing facility dedicated to producing electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).

Kia to start production of electric PBV in Korea by 2025

The new production hub for PBVs will be located within Kia’s existing Hwaseong manufacturing site in Korea. The construction is slated to begin in the first half of 2023, with the aim to commence commercial production in the second half of 2025.The plant will initially be able to build 100,000 PBVs a year with the capacity to increase production to 150,000 units annually in line with the growth of the market.

Ho Sung Song, President and CEO, Kia Corporation said,  “We will initially explore new markets with derivative PBV models, then gradually expand our presence in global markets with dedicated PBV models featuring autonomous driving technologies.”

E-Fores will be the the brand name for Kia’s new smart factory ecosystem that pursues innovation in manufacturing systems by organically connecting everything to realise customer value.

The OEM’s first dedicated PBV will be based on Kia’s ‘eS’ skateboard platform, explicitly developed for PBVs. The new platform can accommodate various PBV model sizes in response to diverse customer demands. Following the launch of the model codenamed SW, Kia will diversify into unmanned micro-sized PBVs, general logistics, fresh food, multi-seat shuttles, and large PBVs that can be used as mobile offices or shops.

Each of Kia’s innovative PBVs will be equipped with an OTA (Over the Air) functionality that can wirelessly update the vehicle’s software in real-time.

The company says it will continue to introduce multiple initiatives to evoke the sustainable mobility shift, including the Ocean Cleanup project; Blue Carbon project; Joining the Climate Group’s RE100; and the launch of the Niro Plus, a derivative PBV as a fully electric taxi in Korea.

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group), including Kia, Hyundai Motor Company, and Genesis as its affiliates, aims to sell 3.23 million EVs a year globally by 2030, aiming for 12 percent of the global electric vehicle market. In the first quarter of 2022, the Group’s sales of electric vehicles stood at 76,801 units, rising by 73 percent from the same period last year.

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