Features
30 Aug 22

Kia to establish first electric PBV Plant on its path to become a leader in sustainable mobility

On its path towards being a fully-fledged mobility provider, Kia has announced the construction of a manufacturing facility for Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV). The factory will be constructed in South Korea and starts operations in 2025. Tomorrow starts now.

KIA is in the midst of a transformation journey to become a leading mobility provider. Next to releasing at least two electric vehicles per year as of 2023, and targeting an output of 1.2 million BEVs by the end of the decade, the company wants to grow its business substantially in the field of mobility services as part of its previously announced transgressional Plan S.

KIA aims to become the Global No. 1 in Purpose Built Vehicles. PBVs are set to play a centric role in establishing a transportation shift in corporate circles, expanding professional fleets' horizons and advancing the electric mobility evolution.

From shuttle to robot delivery

The concept of PBVs moves away from the focus on drivers and adopts a user-centric approach. These electric vehicles are built around a modular platform and, in all their flexibility, can be adapted for a specific purpose of use, ensuring efficient, sustainable and (semi-)autonomous movement, sometimes unmanned.

So, PBVs are customised solutions for e-commerce, logistics, shuttle and robot delivery, impacting these businesses at their core. And because they are also wirelessly connected for over-the-air updates (OTA) they benefit fleet managers by improving on total cost of ownership (TCO).

Up to 150,000 units

KIA now takes a pivotal step in its foray into the segment and announces the decision to integrate its first dedicated smart manufacturing plant for PBVs in its established facility in Hwaseong, South Korea. Construction is scheduled to start in 2023. When operational in 2025, the plant will produce 100,000 units, rising to 150,000 as market demand evolves.

The plant will start with the assembly of a mid-sized PBV on the dedicated 'eS' skateboard platform, followed by a micro-sized model for courier services, and at a later stage, multi-seat shuttles appropriate as mobile offices or shops. 

Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation declared: "This dedicated PBV facility is one of the major pillars of our Plan S strategy as Kia seeks to claim the top position in the global PBV market."

Connected and sustainable

Becoming a leader in sustainable mobility reaches beyond the conception of innovative green services and solutions; it also demands an eligible production methodology. Clean painting, energy management and sophisticated levels of automation and connectivity, in line with KIA's E-FOREST smart manufacturing process, will help decarbonise the production process of the new plant at full strength.

Images: Kia