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Kia shook the commercial van market with its recent reveal of the PV5 at the Consumer Electronics Show. This is where the brand chose to reveal its new Platform Beyond Vehicle division. The brand shared very little information prior to the Kia press conference. This reveal brings a new name to the commercial van market. These new Kia names could take this otherwise boring segment of the automotive world into the future.

What is the Kia PV5?

When automakers bring new models and vehicle families to auto shows, many begin with a version that sits in the middle of the pack. The new Kia PV5 should go into production in 2025. It is a new, modular electric commercial van. The PV5 is capable of transitioning from cargo van to robotaxi with a simple body change.

Car and Driver tells us that Kia calls these interchangeable bodies “life modules.” This sounds more like people living in a bubble than a mobility solution. The bodies connect to the base platform via a hybrid electromagnetic and mechanical coupling technology. The driver’s area doesn’t change, only the passenger/cargo space.

These changing bodies allow the PV5 to swap from a taxi to a delivery van and then to a personal vehicle for family use. These changing bodies could make this new platform extremely useful. We think most companies will likely keep a single body on the chassis.

Five Kia PV5 versions to serve various needs

This new Kia mobility solution features a smooth look and large doors with a pillarless cargo area. This makes the most use of the space. The five “life modules” available for the PV5 are Basic, Van, High Roof, Robotaxi, and Chassis Cab. Here’s a little about each module.

Basic – The Basic version has wide double doors, three rows of seats, and room for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, providing necessary mobility solutions.

Van – Set up for cargo transportation with room for adults to stand upright inside, making it much easier to load and unload.

High Roof – Add more headroom than the Van model. The cabin also converts into a mobile office with a desk and a steering wheel that folds upward into a lamp.

Robotaxi – This model has an array of sensors on the roof with a bumper screen to display messages for those outside the vehicle.

Chassis Cab – The Chassis Cab, like other similar vehicles, is the most configurable of the Kia PV5 models, making it easy to set up this van for specialized business needs.

Are other models planned for the PBV division?

As revealed at CES, a larger PV7 and smaller PV1 should follow the Kia PV5 to the market. The PV7 should be the largest carrier in the group, while the PV1 is a short-distance transportation solution, fitting into narrow spaces.

The Kia PBV division brings new electric mobility solutions to improve the commercial van market, putting other brands on notice.