Kia has landed Uber as its first major client to take on the task of using its PBV, or Platform Beyond Vehicle, for ride-hailing.
The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MoU, at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which helps the two companies simultaneously work toward environmentally-geared goals.
“PBVs will play a key role in the customization of mobility, and by partnering with Uber, Kia aims to deliver industry-leading technology with advanced software and services to enhance the ride-hailing experience,” Sean Yoon, President & CEO of Kia North America and Kia America, said.
Kia said it has the intent of identifying optimal specifications for PBV models, and with the Uber partnership, it will be able to recognize what strategies help with the optimization of the entire platform.
Additionally, there is the potential for further integration of technology and services that will help drivers and riders have a smoother experience altogether.
Uber also has intentions for the partnership with Kia, and hopes to use the collaboration to help it reach its 2040 zero-emission goal. It believes that an optimized EV like the Kia PBV will help streamline EV adoption as it could make things easier for drivers and riders alike.
Kia commended Uber on its accelerated rate of EV adoption, recognizing its commitment.
Susan Anderson, VP and Global Head of Business Development said, “Drivers on the Uber platform are already EV early adopters, going electric six to seven times faster than the general population in the US and Europe. That’s great for all of us because when ride-share drivers go electric, communities see three to four times the emissions benefits compared with an average driver making the switch.”
Ultimately, the goal is to make the consideration for which vehicle powertrain would be more ideal for ride-hailing a no-brainer, Anderson said.
“By teaming up with Kia and providing our insights, we aim to broaden the appeal and lower the cost of electric vehicles, making them a more natural choice for more drivers.”
The PBV will be launched around the PV5, a modular vehicle that will have several versions launched in the future. These will include the PV5 High Roof, PV5 Van, PV5 Chassis Cab, PV5 Robotaxi, and PV5 Pickup.
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