Kia jumps into electric van segment, announces new vehicle and factory

Kia starts building facility for electric purpose-built vehicle (PBV) production (PRNewsfoto/Kia Corporation)

Kia has announced an all-new production facility for an upcoming commercial vehicle lineup called “purpose-built vehicles,” or PBVs.

Despite the incredible opportunity for cost reduction, commercial vehicles remain an ICE-dominated segment, particularly in vehicles that tow trailers, which are predominantly diesel-powered. However, that is slowly beginning to change and hence, is attracting a growing number of automakers. This includes Kia, who announced today that they would build an all-new commercial electric vehicle plant in South Korea.

Kia announced its new commercial offering as part of a more prominent announcement from the Hyundai Group, stating that the automotive group would now aim to become a top three global automaker by 2030.

Kia’s all-new plant, which had its groundbreaking ceremony today, is a massive 1 trillion won ($758 million) investment from the automaker. When it comes online in 2025, it will have a production capacity of 150,000 units annually. Kia did specify that it expects this production number to grow but did not provide specifics.

As for the PBVs that Kia will be producing, the Korean brand was incredibly tight-lipped and only revealed a simple render showing a Canoo-esque set of electric vans. Besides this render, Kia noted that the vehicles would be built on the all-new “eS” electric skateboard platform, and it will be produced using what the company called a “flexible production method,” allowing for easy transition between variants of the vehicle.

Kia will be fully launching its PBV lineup in 2025, ahead of the launch of its mass production at the new plant, and the company spokesman notes that these vehicles could be used in a variety of use cases, including “logistics, fresh food delivery, multi-seat shuttles, and mobile offices.”

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Kia jumps into electric van segment, announces new vehicle and factory
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