Kia is on a roll when it comes to electric vehicles. The EV6 has been hitting the headlines since launch and the Niro EV has been quietly winning fans across the U.S. Parent company Hyundai is serious about surpassing Tesla in the EV space. Now, Kia has announced its next step towards EV domination: a fleet of adorable electric vans.
This week, Kia announced plans to build a new production facility in South Korea dedicated to producing electric purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) — models that have a “narrow focus” and dedicated features, like delivery vans, unmanned EVs and even electric taxis.
Construction on the new factory begins in 2023, with plans to start vehicle production in 2025. Once cars start rolling off the line, Kia will kick things off with its “first dedicated PBV model.”
According to the teaser images that came with Kia’s factory announcement, the future PBVs might include a fleet of lovely little van concepts in varying sizes for varying functions.
When it debuts, the first vehicle to come out of the new factory will be based on Kia’s new eS skateboard platform, which the firm developed “explicitly” for PBVs. The new platform can be used to create a variety of “model sizes in response to diverse customer demands.”
After that electric vehicle, Kia says it could use the new platform to build an “unmanned micro-sized PBV” for package or food delivery. This could be followed by a fleet of larger vehicles that could be used as “mobile offices or shops.”
The teaser image above shows the boxy styling we could expect from the utility vehicles.
Available in a range of sizes, the concepts all feature very flat front ends and the angular headlights you’ve come to expect from a good EV concept. The styling brings to mind the Staria van from stablemate Hyundai, and that can only be a good thing.
As well as this modernist styling, the new EVs could also come with over-the-air functionality, which would allow Kia to wirelessly update the vehicle’s software in real-time.