Kia has revealed its vision for versatile electric commercial vehicles with interchangeable bodies at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024. The lineup includes three concept electric vehicles—PV1, PV5, and PV7—with the mid-size PV5 being the first to hit the roads.
Kia's concept revolves around a flexible chassis with a fixed cab and interchangeable upper bodies, facilitating various body styles. The life modules, each shipped as a standardized kit, allow quick transformation into different configurations, including Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab.
While specifics on the technology enabling swift body swaps are limited, Kia aims to make the process faster and more straightforward. The PV series focuses on adaptability, with movable and removable seats and storage compartments, providing flexibility for applications such as converting delivery vans into taxis.
The PV series utilizes the “Platform Beyond Vehicle” (PBV) chassis and technology, marking the beginning of Kia's exploration into modular and customizable vehicles that seamlessly integrate into the broader mobility ecosystem.
The PV series is part of Kia's broader strategy, including the development of autonomous driving technology through partnerships with Motional and Hyundai. Kia also intends to collaborate with advanced technologies, such as robots and drones, to enhance the vehicles' utility.
Pierre-Martin Bos, the director of the PBV unit, expressed confidence in Kia's customer-centric approach, emphasizing partnerships as a driving force toward sustainable mobility solutions. Kia's plans extend beyond a conceptual stage, with the company set to open a dedicated PBV plant in Korea in 2025, with an annual capacity of 150,000 units.