Kia’s soon-to-rise high-tech plant dedicated to electric PBV production

Kia’s soon-to-rise high-tech plant dedicated to electric PBV production

MANILA: Kia Corporation, which is transitioning into a sustainable mobility provider, stated that it will open a new, high-tech production plant dedicated to producing electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What will be the production capacity of Kia's new production plant in Korea?

    The facility will initially be capable of producing 100,000 PBV units per year, with the potential to increase production to 150,000 units per year as the PBV market grows.
  • When will the commercial production in the new facility begin?

    The commercial production is set to begin in the second half of 2025.
  • Kia's existing Hwaseong production site in Korea will house the new PBV manufacturing hub. Construction is expected to start in the first half of 2023, with commercial operations beginning in the second half of 2025.

    The facility will initially be capable of producing 100,000 PBV units per year, with the potential to increase production to 150,000 units per year as the PBV market grows.

    In a statement, Kia Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Ho Sung Song said, “This 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.”

    Kia was one of the first major car brands to enter the PBV market, and as part of its Plan S roadmap, the company aspires to be the PBV market leader by 2030. PBVs are anticipated to deliver an innovative mode of transportation when integrated with autonomous driving technology, substantially enriching society and communities around the world.

    Kia electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV)

    The new PBV plant will have cutting-edge automation processes as well as innovative technologies that cut carbon emission during production. To further reduce environmental impacts, the facility will also be equipped with clean painting and energy-saving amenities.

    E-Forest is the brand name for Kia's new smart factory ecosystem, which aims to drive production system innovation by intuitively integrating everything to create customer value. The initial "E" represents advancement in terms of efficiency and economy in the whole transport industry. It also highlights the company's desire to give the finest products to its customers by combining aspects such as artificial intelligence, robot technology, and information and communication technology. The "forest" refers to an ecosystem that brings all of these components together to work as one.

    The new PBV plant will produce a mid-sized PBV, Kia's first dedicated PBV model, when it opens in the second half of 2025. Kia's first dedicated PBV will be built on the "eS" skateboard platform, which was created specifically for PBVs. In response to varying customer demands, the new platform can accommodate multiple PBV model sizes. After the release of the model codenamed SW,  Kia will expand into autonomous micro-sized PBVs, general logistics, fresh food, multi-seat shuttles, and large PBVs that may be utilized as mobile offices or shops.

    Each of Kia's revolutionary PBVs will include an OTA (Over the Air) function that allows the vehicle's software to be updated wirelessly in real time, lowering the total cost of ownership and improving convenience.

    Kia also continues its forward-thinking initiatives to drive the sustainable mobility transition. These initiatives include The Ocean Cleanup project, the Blue Carbon project, joining the Climate Group's RE100, and the introduction of the Niro Plus, a derivative PBV, as a full electric taxi in Korea.

    Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia, Hyundai Motor Company, and Genesis as affiliates, targets to sell 3.23 million EV units per year by 2030, accounting for 12% of the global market. With outstanding performance and value to the competition, the group is poised to be a game-changer in the global EV market. The group sold 76,801 EV units in the first quarter of 2022, increasing 73% from the same period last year.

    Photos from Kia Corporation

    Also read: Kia partners with The Ocean Cleanup for solutions to plastic pollution

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