Kia Starts Building Facility for Electric Purpose-Built Vehicle Production

South Korean automaker Kia has broken ground on a new dedicated plant for the production of battery-electric purpose-built vehicles (PBV).

Kia said it will invest around one trillion won ( about US$758 million) to secure 99,000 acres of land, with the company planning to start mass production in the second half of 2025. It plans to produce 150,000 units in the first full year, with the potential to expand in line with future market conditions.

The new PBV plant will be built as an eco-friendly plant that applies future innovative manufacturing technologies while minimizing carbon emissions. It will also seek efficiency and intelligence with Hyundai Motor and Kia’s smart factory brand ‘E-FOREST technologies’ such as digital manufacturing systems.

One of the innovative manufacturing processes to be implemented at the new PBV plant is known as the ‘cellular (or cell) method,’ which allows vehicle production based on diverse customer demands.

In addition, the PBV plant will be built as a low-carbon factory by operating a dry booth, a nature-friendly construction method, during the painting process of vehicle manufacturing, and reducing carbon emissions by about 20 percent compared to existing factories by utilizing natural light and streamlining the manufacturing process.

“Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Hyundai MOBIS together plan to invest KRW 24 trillion in the domestic electric vehicle industry by 2030, with the goal of making South Korea one of the top three players in the global EV market,” said Kia President and CEO Ho Sung Song.

“Our focus is to enhance the competitiveness of the entire electric vehicle ecosystem, including research and development, production, and infrastructure, and to lead the way in driving change and innovation in the new global automotive industry.”

Kia plans to show SW (project name), the first model in the company’s dedicated PBV lineup, in 2025. The model will be a mid-sized PBV and will be based on the “eS” platform, a dedicated skateboard platform for battery electric PBVs, enabling various types of vehicle bodies to be flexibly combined.

SW has been developed to respond to various business demands such as delivery, ride-hailing, and business-to-business (B2B) transactions thanks to its excellent load structure and spacious indoor space that reaches the height of an adult.

After launching the mid-sized SW PBV, Kia plans to expand its product lineup to large-sized PBVs that can be used for logistics, fresh food delivery, multi-seat shuttles, and mobile offices and stores as well as small-sized PBVs and mid-sized robotaxis applied with autonomous driving technology.

#electricvehicles #ecofriendlyplant

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