Kia introduces modular ‘Platform Beyond Vehicle’ strategy, teases several concept EVs at CES


Kia is kicking off the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 with some exciting news in a quest to go “beyond mobility.” This afternoon, Kia introduced its fully customizable Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV) to provide businesses and individuals with modular, fit-for-purpose EVs. Kia also demonstrated the potential of its new PBV business by unveiling the Concept PV5.

While many legacy automakers are suddenly dialing back their EV strategies, Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia, remains devoted to pushing electric mobility forward through several segments.

Kia has found early success in its BEV models, which remains a relatively small lineup as the Korean automaker transitions into a fully electric company. With R&D funds allocated toward other technologies like robotics and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), Kia and Hyundai Motor Group is constantly evolving and exploring exciting new tech.

That saga continues from CES 2024 this afternoon, as the passenger vehicle manufacturer has introduced a new “blank slate” Kia platform that will support commercial and individual businesses.

Meet Kia’s Platform Beyond Vehicle, showcased in the form of multiple concept EVs, including the PV5 seen here:

Kia teases PV5 concept on new modular platform

With its new Platform Beyond Vehicle technology, Kia looks to capitalize on a commercial segment that has swallowed up several startups whose funds dried up before they could truly make an impact.

Business owners are merely one target of Kia’s new fit-for-purpose EVs and part of Hyundai Motor Group’s larger ambitions to revolutionize the entire mobility industry. Combined with HMG’s software-to-everything (SDx) technology, Kia’s PBV EVs can provide a new design exercise in modular, customizable space to fit the needs of more people – whether it is a taxi, mobile boutique, cargo van, or a recreational vehicle. Kia president and CEO Ho Sung Song spoke:

Kia’s PBV business represents our vision of going beyond the traditional concept of automobiles by fulfilling the unmet needs of diverse customers and communities through optimized vehicles and services catering to specific market and business circumstances.

Kia’s new technology enables one vehicle chassis to meet multiple purposes. The automaker shared that the entire area behind the fixed cab can support interchangeable upper bodies it calls “life modules.” These weldless “top hat” structures come in kit form and can be connected to the base vehicle via a hybrid electromagnetic and mechanical coupling technology – offering further versatility thanks to their ability to be swapped out.

During the unveiling of the PV5 concept, Kia also outlined the roadmap of its Platform Beyond Vehicle Strategy, which will expand through three separate phases:

  • Phase One: Kia introduces the PV5 EV optimized for major domains such as ride-hailing, delivery and utilities.
    • This include Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab variants.
    • In the future, Kia also plans to introduce a Robotaxi version developed with Motional.
  • Phase Two: Completion of the dedicated PBV model line-up, with PBVs evolving into AI-based mobility platforms that use data to interact with users and help keep vehicles updated.
    • Includes the addition of the PV7 EV – Kia’s largest platform offering in the new lineup, designed to offer superior interior space and electric range.
    • Also includes the P1V, the smallest in the lineup, designed for short-distance logistics transportation.
    • PBV Modularity – Kia will introduce an integrated rail system that allows EVs to transfer goods between one another using cabinets and frames.
  • Phase Three: Kia PBVs evolve into highly customizable, bespoke mobility solutions by integrating with the future mobility ecosystem. 

Kia’s EV concepts showcasing the new Platform Beyond Vehicle technology will be displayed in the LVCC West Hall during CES this week. The exhibit includes a look at Concept PV5 and two of its variants, plus the previously mentioned Concept PV7 and Concept PV1.

The automaker says it has a second exhibit at CES Central Plaza, where it will be displaying the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4, in addition to the EV6 GT and EV9 production models.

Is anyone else at CES? Keep an eye out for Electrek and say hello!

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