Kia has just previewed the first in its long line of ‘purpose-built vehicles’ in the form of the all-new Niro Plus.
The Kia Niro Plus will initially be sold in Korea before launching in select overseas markets. In Korea, it hasn’t just been designed for use among the general public but an all-electric version has been developed for local taxi operators.
To create the Niro Plus, Kia has increased its length by 10 mm (0.39 inches) and increased the height by 80 mm (3.1 inches) all in a bid to improve interior space. The taxi model has also been equipped with thinner seats and door trims and also features an All-in-One Display that will remove the need for taxi operators to have multiple devices and screens. This new display will include navigation, an app taximeter, digital tachograph, and voice recognition and will also include data on relevant points of interest and locations of nearby EV charging stations.
The non-taxi version of the Kia Niro Plus will be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric guises. Kia says the Niro Plus could be ideal for small business owners to use for work during the week while doubling as the perfect vehicle to use for leisure activities on the weekend, such as camping.
“Kia is transforming its business strategy to focus on popularizing EVs, and introducing new mobility products that are tailored to the needs of users in markets around the world,” commented the head of Kia eLCV Business Division, Sangdae Kim. “The Niro Plus is our first step into the world of PBVs, a market that holds great potential for future development.”
Kia is developing a plethora of purpose-built vehicles and plans to become a market leader by 2030. It will launch its first dedicated PBV in 2025 underpinned by its eS scalable skateboard platform. Among the PBVs being planned include a mid-size model for ride-hailing and delivery services, a ‘micro’ model for robo-delivery, an autonomous PBV to serve as a robotaxi, and a large PBV perfect for cargo and shuttle services.