Get a Sneak Peek at Kia’s Latest Electric Van Collection Unveiled at CES 2024

Kia is following up a strong year for its passenger EVs by sharing what it wants to do for businesses looking to go electric. The Korean automaker just unveiled at CES 2024 a forthcoming lineup of electric vans and other similar vehicles all set to be built on a new modular platform. What that looks like in practice, according to Kia, are vehicles with fixed driver cabs that can have the rest of the vehicle’s cabin swapped out. These cabins (Kia calls them “life modules”) connect to the chassis using both mechanical couplings and electromagnets, though Kia was light on the details about how that will work. The first model to be made will be the Kia PV5, a three-row van with futuristic styling.

Kia has been making major moves in the world of electric vehicles, as evidenced by their strong performance in 2024. At CES 2024, they have unveiled their upcoming lineup of electric vans and other similar vehicles, all built on a brand new modular platform.

What sets these vehicles apart is not just the electric powertrain, but also the modular design of the tops. Similar to popular skateboard-style designs used by other companies, the cabins of these vehicles can be easily swapped out while the driver cab remains fixed.

Kia calls these cabins “life modules” and says they will be connected to the chassis using a combination of mechanical couplings and electromagnets. However, specific details on how this will work have not been revealed.

Kia has been quite secretive about other details as well. They have not disclosed a price range or any target specifications for the vehicles. Additionally, there is no set timeline for when these vehicles will hit the roads. However, Kia has announced plans to build a dedicated plant in South Korea that will be operational in 2025, with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

The first model to be produced will be the Kia PV5, a three-row van with sleek, futuristic styling. The PV5 is just the beginning, as Kia has also shared renders of a larger version (the PV7) and a smaller, more compact option (the PV1).

The design of these vehicles is simple and utilitarian, lacking the eye-catching appeal of sibling company Hyundai’s Staria van. In fact, they bear a striking resemblance to the promises made by struggling EV startup Canoo, which has yet to deliver on a large scale.

Interestingly, Hyundai and Canoo were previously partnered, but the deal was abruptly called off by Canoo’s CEO, who hinted at protecting the company’s intellectual property. It seems Kia has taken inspiration from other companies while also creating their own unique spin on the future of electric vehicles.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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