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Kia Confirms New Korean Factory For Electric Purpose-Built Vehicles

Following reports from last March, Kia confirmed it will build a new factory in Korea for producing electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs). Construction of the plant will begin in the first half of 2023, with PBV production commencing in the second half of 2025.

The PBV-dedicated facility will be built within the existing Hwaseong plant in Korea. It will have an initial capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year, which is set to increase to 150,000 units as PBV demand rises. Kia says its new plant will feature the “E-Forest” smart manufacturing ecosystem that is driven by data, connectivity, and robotics technologies. It will also feature clean painting and energy-saving facilities for reducing its carbon footprint.

The announcement is joined by teasers of the four upcoming PBV models, coming with single-box proportions and distinctive LED lighting signatures. The micro PBV is designed for robo-delivery, the mid PBV comes in two versions for ride-hailing delivery and robo-taxi purposes, while the large PBV is for cargo and shuttle. All models will be based on the eS EV-dedicated skateboard platform. They will be capable of Level 4 autonomy and receive over-the-air updates.

Following the Niro Plus which is based on the previous-generation Niro, Kia’s first dedicated PBV model will be the mid-PBV, codenamed SW. Purpose Built Vehicles are one of the major pillars of Kia’s Plan S strategy, with the Korean company aiming to become a leading force in the segment by 2030.



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