|Kia announced a fleet of cute, modular vans at CES 2024
|Posted by: Engadget on Jan 9th, 2024 12:40 AM
Kia is back at CES after five years and just announced a new modular EV platform called Platform Beyond Vehicles, or PBV for short. These vehicles are still in the concept stage and aren't the kind of cars you're going to go out and buy to get around town or go on vacation — at least, not yet. Instead the PV5, the first vehicle Kia is planning, will focus on business utilities like ride-hailing, delivery and other business utilities.
Probably the coolest thing about the PV5 is how modular it is. Kia showed off four different configurations. The standard is a small van, but you can swap in an extended roof if you need more space. You can also swap the back two thirds out entirely and have it in a pickup truck configuration, and finally there's a taxi configuration focused on transporting passengers. As you might guess, the inside is completely modular to enable these transformations.
Kia didn't mention autonomous capabilities specifically, and shots of the insides of the vehicle showed a somewhat traditional driver seat and steering area. But the company also said it wants to develop a Robotaxi PV5 in partnership with Motional that'll provide an autonomous ride-hailing experience.
Beyond the PV5, Kia also teased the large PV7 and relatively tiny PV1, a pair of vehicles meant to work in conjunction. The PV7 is the largest in the lineup, which gives it more interior space as well as driving range, while the PV1 is mean tot be small and "agile" for last-mile deliveries. The cool thing is that there's a rail system that can link the two vehicles together so you can easily move cargo from the larger PV7 into the PV1.
As is so often the case at CES, there isn't a ton of detail on when the PBV initiative will move from concept to a product in production, but Kia is already building a dedicated PBV plant in Korea, with plans for manufacturing capacity of 150,000 vehicles in 2025, ramping up to 300,000 at an unknown future date. So it's possible we'll see the first of the PBVs hit the road next year.
We're reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/kia-announced-a-fleet-of-cute-modular-vans-at-ces-2024-004005807.html?src=rss
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