10 January 2024
10 January 2024, Comments Comments Off on Kia’s Platform Beyond Mobility concept vehicles at CES 2024 including commercial vehicle version
Kia's Platform Beyond Mobility concept vehicles at CES 2024 including commercial vehicle version

Kia has revealed its Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV) future strategy at CES 2024 in Las Vegas. Kia’s PBV business will initially be based around the introduction of an all-new modular vehicle, previewed by the Kia Concept PV5, and includes commercial vehicle variants that might be of interest to the RV sector.

Kia says its PBVs are a ‘total mobility solutio’n that combine fit-for-purpose EVs with advanced software solutions based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s software-to-everything, or SDx, strategy. As a Platform Beyond Vehicle, Kia PBVs will open the door to new businesses and lifestyles by redefining the concept of space thanks to advanced, tailored interiors that provide ultimate freedom and flexibility.

“Kia’s PBV business represents our vision of going beyond the traditional concept of automobiles by fulfilling the unmet needs of diverse customers and communities through optimised vehicles and services catering to specific market and business circumstances,” said Ho Sung Song, Kia President and CEO.

“Kia PBVs will be an enabler of business innovation thanks to our customer-centric management system, EV mass production expertise, and the Hyundai Motor Group’s rapidly developing SDx strategy and related future businesses. We are excited to show that we are fully prepared to become the first mover in the global PBV market,” he added.

The launch of Kia’s PBV business will see the brand commit to providing a varied range of customised vehicle types to meet customers’ individual requirements. Determined to overcome all existing restrictive and one-dimensional industry product line-up offerings, Kia believes its new approach to PBVs can help solve the mobility challenges encountered by individuals and organisations with limited transportation options.

Phase one will see the introduction of the Kia PV5, a versatile EV optimised for major domains such as hailing, delivery and utilities that features conversion capability for diverse customer needs. Enhanced data connectivity between vehicles and external data such as route or delivery information will enable convenient operation of multiple vehicles as a software-defined fleet. This emergence of customised business fleets and PBV-specific solutions means less downtime and enhanced cost-effectiveness.

Phase two will see the completion of the dedicated PBV model line-up, and PBVs will evolve into AI-based mobility platforms that use data to interact with users and ensure that the vehicles are always up to date. An integrated PBV solution will provide a customised, seamless experience across devices and software. Meanwhile, new forms of business linked with robotics and other future technologies will emerge.

In phase three, Kia PBVs will evolve into highly customisable, bespoke mobility solutions by integrating with the future mobility ecosystem. This is where Kia PBVs will ultimately become life platforms that turn any inspiration into reality. Connected self-driving vehicles will be managed as part of a single smart city operating system. With the emergence of a hyper-connected world where people, PBVs and social infrastructure are seamlessly linked, we will open the door to completely new lifestyles by creating a robust PBV ecosystem based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s future technologies for autonomous driving, advanced air mobility, robotics, and the energy grid.

Utilising ‘Easy Swap’ technology to flexibly address the diverse demands of customers, a single vehicle chassis can be used to fulfil multiple mobility needs. Behind a fixed cab, or ‘driver zone’, a variety of interchangeable upper bodies, or ‘life modules’, can be connected to the base vehicle via a hybrid electromagnetic and mechanical coupling technology, turning the PBV into a taxi during the day, to a delivery van at night, and a personal recreational vehicle on weekends.

Modularisation is further made possible thanks to ‘Dynamic Hybrid’ weldless body structure assembly, which enables the length of moveable members to be flexibly adjusted according to vehicle use purpose. Comprised of high-strength tubular steel and engineered polymers, typical parts are reduced by 55 per cent with no loss in rigidity. Shipped in standardised, convenient kit form, Dynamic Hybrid technology will allow for the quick and simple in-field transformation of a Kia PV5.

The design of Kia’s PBVs is inspired by robust, simple and clever tools and goes far beyond mere aesthetics. Kia’s primary mission is to ensure that the brand’s PBVs are simple and intuitive to operate and engage with, regardless of where, when or how they are used.

Whether the purpose of the vehicle is to transport people, move goods, or meet logistics or personal mobility needs, each PBV shares a consistent quality of design that reflects its solid, robust nature and projects a dependable and highly capable attitude. There are no unnecessary adornments, with each feature designed to serve a useful function which makes the lives of vehicle users easier, as clearly demonstrated by the concepts unveiled at CES.

Sustainability sits at the core of Kia’s PBV design strategy. Extensive use of materials such as bio plastic, Post Consumer Material (PCM) plastic, bio paint, recycled PET fabric, felt and yarns, and bio-PU foam not only limits environmental impact today and tomorrow, but also delivers a unique visual and tactile appeal that leads to the creation of new aesthetic values.

In line with Phase One, various versions of the PV5 will be available, including Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab versions. In the future, Kia also plans to introduce a Robotaxi model developed with Motional (a joint venture between HMG and Aptiv), which aims to provide a revolutionary autonomous hailing experience for passengers.

During Phase Two, symbiosis of the PBV ecosystem will be complimented by two further models, the ‘PV7’ and ‘PV1’, utilising cabinet and frame systems to enhance interaction and connectivity among vehicles based on the modular concept.

  1. PV7 — The largest product in the line-up, defined by more interior space, greater driving range, and enhanced functionalities.
  • PV1 — The smallest product in the line-up, PV1 is optimised for agile and short-distance logistics transportation, using driving modules to minimise turning radius even in narrow spaces.
  • PBV modularity — An integrated rail system on the vehicle’s ceiling, floor, and side panels, as well as on the exterior, enables effortless customisation of the vehicle to meet individual customer needs. This system enables seamless transfer of goods and items between vehicles, using cabinets and frames. The ‘rails’ within this ecosystem simplify the movement of items between vehicles, while the modular design of the ’tiles’ and functional accessories, such as speakers and shelves, offer limitless flexibility for a wide range of scenarios.

“Kia PBVs will initiate a new era of seamless everyday business and lifestyle solutions. We hope to make our customers’ lives easier and better, whether they’re stationary or on the move, offering exceptional flexibility and customisation through radical modularisation,” said Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design.

“Untethered to any fixed place, and unbounded by the traditional restrictions of space, Kia PBVs offer users a blank canvas to reimagine their lifestyles and workstyles,” he added.

Kia’s EV charging solution optimises charging schedules for maximum efficiency. It considers battery charge levels, routes, schedules, and breaks. Additionally, Kia aims to provide a total energy solution by utilising advanced charging infrastructure, allowing high-density energy batteries to power mobile devices and emergency equipment. This is made possible through innovations like Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology.