Kia’s first electric PV5 van caught testing with VW ID.Buzz-like design [Video]

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Kia’s first electric PV5 van caught testing with VW ID.Buzz-like design [Video]


Kia is diving head-first into the world of fit-for-purpose EVs. After introducing its new PBV business earlier this year, Kia’s first electric van was spotted out in the wild for the first time. At first glance, you could mistake it for a Volkswagen ID.Buzz. Check out the video below.

Kia revealed its Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV) strategy at CES 2024 in January. The plan includes electric vans (PBVs) designed to “open the door to new businesses and lifestyles.”

The PBVs are designed as total mobility solutions, equipped with advanced software and custom interiors. It sounds kind of like Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz electric van.

Kia revealed three concepts at the event: PV5, PV7 and PV1. The concepts preview small, medium, and large electric vans. The first due out is the PV5. Kia’s PV5 will be the first electric van from the series, expected to launch early next year.

The PV5 is a flexible, medium-sized EV van designed for delivery, ride-hailing, and other utility services.

Days after its introduction, Kia’s PV5 scored its first customer: Uber. Kia and Uber partnered to build PBVs for drivers and fleets.

Kia's-first-electric-van
Kia’s first electric PBV, the PV5 Concept (Source: Kia)

Kia’s new electric van caught testing for the first time

Ahead of its official debut, Kia’s new electric van, the PV5, was spotted testing out in public for the first time.

The new video from MediaAUTO gives us a better idea of what we can expect from the production form.

Kia’s first PV5 electric van was spotted testing for the first time (Source: MediaAUTO)

In the video, you can see the electric van charging at a station. As the reporter notes, the PV5 is a sibling to Hyundai’s ST1. Hyundai revealed the Staria-based electric ST1 in March.

However, Hyundai’s ST1 has a frame in the front and the rear of a Staria. In other words, it looks more like a commercial truck.

Kia’s PV5 features a modern, sleek design. It looks more like a minivan that can carry loads. Despite the camouflage, you can see Kia’s first electric van is much more stylish than the ST1.

Kia's-first-electric-van
Kia’s first electric PBV, the PV5 Concept (Source: Kia)

The vehicle’s main running lights and taillamps appear similar to those in the concept. Through the camo, you can see the sliding door on the passenger side and rear doors that open wide on both sides.

Meanwhile, the side mirrors appear too small for the PV5’s size, suggesting they are just testing them.

Kia's-first-electric-van-interior
Kia PV5 Concept interior (Source: Kia)

As the reporter says, Kia’s PV5 is “clean” looking, like something you would see in a Sci-Fi movie.

A Volkswagen ID.Buzz rival?

If anything, it looks more like Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz. In fact, Kia’s PV5 was recently spotted testing with the ID.Buzz in Europe. The PV5 appears similar in size and shape to the VW model.

VW-ID.Buzz-production
Volkswagen three-row ID.Buzz (Source: Volkswagen US Media Site_

Kia’s PV5 will be available in Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab configurations. In the future, it will also be converted into a Robotaxi for autonomous ride-hailing. It will be followed by the PV7, Kia’s largest PBV, and the PV1, its smallest model.

All PBV models will be built on Kia’s dedicated e-CCPM (Electric Complete Chassis Platform Module) from Hyundai Mobis.

Kia's-first-electric-van
Kia PBV Concepts (Source: Kia)

Kia’s new electric vans will be built at its dedicated PBV plant in Autoland Hwaseong, Korea. The factory is set to open next year with 150,000 unit annual capacity expected. By 2030, output is expected to reach 300,000.

Several automakers, including General Motors and Volkswagen, are advancing PBVs to meet the growing demand for flexible EV solutions. With its electric microbus launching in the US this year, VW wants to double ID.Buzz production.

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