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Kia unveils large-scale electric van production plans

Korean firm aims to produce 100,000 electric 'purpose-built vehicles' (PBVs) a year, starting in 2025

Kia PBV

Kia has announced the building of a new factory for electric commercial vehicles in its native South Korea. Dedicated to producing what the company calls 'Purpose Built Vehicles', or PBVs, the facility is expected to be ready by 2025 and will have an initial production capacity of 100,000 units a year, later expanding to 150,000.

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Kia's PBVs are part of its overall 'Plan S' electrification strategy. They'll be based on a common 'skateboard' platform that allows for numerous different bodystyles and configurations to be developed. All will be able to receive over-the-air (OTA) software updates, which Kia says will benefit ease of use and lower running costs.

Kia PBVs

The first model to launch has been codenamed 'SW' and subsequent offerings will include autonomous mini-vehicles, as well as commerical vehicles for "general logistics, fresh food and passenger-shuttle" uses and "large PBVs that can be used as mobile offices or shops".

Kia president and CEO Ho Sung Song said "[The] dedicated PBV facility is one of the major pillars of our Plan S strategy as Kia seeks to claim the top position in the global PBV market. We will initially explore new markets with derivative PBV models, then gradually expand our presence in global markets with dedicated PBV models featuring autonomous driving technologies."

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