Following a report last March, Kia confirmed that it would build a new plant in Korea to produce electric purpose built vehicles (PBVs). Construction of the plant will begin in the first half of 2023, and PBV production will begin in the second half of 2025.
The PBV-dedicated facility will be built within the existing Hawasseng plant in Korea. It will have an initial capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year, which will increase to 150,000 units as PBV demand increases. Kia says its new plant will have an “e-forest” smart manufacturing ecosystem powered by data, connectivity and robotics technology. It will also have clear painting and energy-saving features to reduce carbon footprint.
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The announcement is paired with a teaser of four upcoming PBV models, coming with a single-box ratio and a distinctive LED light signature. Designed for micro PBV robo-delivery, the Mid PBV comes in two versions for ride-hailing delivery and robo-taxi purposes, while for larger PBV cargo and shuttle. All models will be built based on the ES EV-Dedicated Skateboard platform. They will be able to get Level 4 autonomy and get over-the-air updates.
Following Nero Plus which is based on the previous generation Nero, Kier will be the first dedicated PBV model mid-PBV, codenamed SW. One of the key pillars of Kia’s Plan S strategy is the Purpose Built Vehicle, with the Korean company aiming to become a leading force in the sector by 2030.
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