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Sunday / 14 July 2024
HomeFeatures4 Kia electric cars that could be coming to South Africa – Details

4 Kia electric cars that could be coming to South Africa – Details

Kia Corporation filed trademark applications with South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission on 23 May 2024 for four new electric vehicles (EVs).

The models in question are the PV1, PV3, PV5, and PV7 – all different versions of modular EVs that are fit for many personal and commercial use cases.

TopAuto reached out to the domestic distributor of the South Korean automaker to uncover its intentions behind these trademark applications, seeing as the brand does not yet offer any battery electrics in our market.

“The trademark applications do not necessarily mean that Kia will introduce the PV1, PV3, PV5, and PV7 in South Africa,” said a spokesperson for Kia South Africa.

“These vehicles are built on full-electric platforms, which poses the first challenge in the commercial vehicle space locally, and feature advanced “software-to-everything”, or SDx, technology, which the local transport and logistics sector is not currently geared for.”

With this in mind, the manufacturer said it has no immediate or short-term plans to introduce the four EVs to domestic roads, however, they are not off the table indefinitely.

“Kia South Africa is aligned with Kia’s global vision to become a leading mobility solutions provider, and – as with any new product or service – we are staying close to the ongoing developments of this very exciting new business division,” said the spokesperson.

Next-generation electric platforms

The PV1, PV3, PV5, and PV7 are all built on Kia’s new Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV) architecture.

The PBV foundation allows for a modular vehicle design that can be customised to the buyer’s unique needs through an integrated rail system on the vehicle’s ceiling, floor, and side panels.

The idea is that a single chassis with a fixed “driver zone” is used to fulfill multiple requirements by installing interchangeable upper bodies – or as Kia calls them, “life modules” – on the base of the vehicle via electromagnetic and mechanical coupling technology.

This will, for example, allow the PBV to be a taxi during the day, a delivery van at night, and a personal recreational vehicle on the weekends.

The weldless body structure assembly is designed to enable the length of moveable elements to be flexibly adjusted according to unique use cases.

On each model, large doors open out to reveal a generous pillarless opening that provides easy ingress and egress. Inside, the extended wheelbase and electric platform ensure wide, flat, open spaces for stowage and usage possibilities.

Kia also intends to create a digital ecosystem that will allow the PBVs to interact with one another and share certain features.

The rollout of the PBV family will take place in three phases, commencing with the introduction of the PV5 in 2025, which will be aimed at the e-hailing, delivery, and utilities sectors.

The vehicle will be shipped in standardised kit form, with “Dynamic Hybrid technology” allowing for quick and simple in-field transformation to the situation at hand.

Phase two will see the completion of the model line-up through the launch of the PV1, PV3, and PV7; and phase three will see the PBV catalogue evolving into “bespoke mobility solutions by integrating with the future mobility ecosystem,” said the automaker.

Kia has already established partnerships with companies like Uber, Coupang, CJ Logistics, Kakao Mobility, and Dubai Taxi Corporation to enhance its PBV-dedicated business system.

It will also involve customers in the development process by taking into account their feedback and criticisms to create more tailored, mission-specific products.


Kia PV5 Concept


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