Home Taxi company Kia launches ‘purpose-built vehicle’ strategy with launch of Niro Plus

Kia launches ‘purpose-built vehicle’ strategy with launch of Niro Plus

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  • Kia to make Niro Plus “specially designed vehicle” (PBV) available in Korea
  • Kia will offer the Niro Plus taxi model to Korean taxi operators
  • Kia plans a general model of Niro Plus for professional and recreational use, available in certain overseas markets
  • Kia developing other micro to large PBVs on a dedicated platform; aim for global PBV leadership by 2030
  • Kia expects PBVs to play an important role in the company’s development as a “sustainable mobility solutions provider”

Kia today unveiled the Niro Plus, its first ‘Specially Designed Vehicle’ (PBV). As a provider of sustainable mobility solutions, Kia is exploring various ways to help individuals and businesses go beyond the traditional automobile, and the company expects its PBV models to be an important part future mobility.

The Kia Niro Plus will be rolled out as a general model and zero-emission taxi in Korea, with the company modifying the first-generation Niro EV to make it suitable for the demands of modern car traffic. Its introduction follows the launch of the Ray Van in February, Korea’s first single-seat van designed to meet growing domestic demand for small-cargo delivery services.

Kia is one of the first players in the global PBV market and plans to become a market leader by 2030. To this end, the company is developing a dedicated platform on which PBVs of different shapes and sizes can be sit, responding to changing customer needs and market trends.

Kia will launch its first dedicated PBV model in 2025, when the global PBV market is expected to mature. The brand’s first dedicated PBV will be similar in size to a mid-size vehicle, with inherent upgradability.

Sangdae Kim, Head of Kia eLCV Business Division, said, “Kia is transforming its business strategy to focus on popularizing electric vehicles and introducing new mobility products tailored to user needs in markets around the world. The Niro Plus is our first step into the world of PBVs, a market with great potential for future development.

Niro Plus – Kia’s first PBV suitable for business and leisure

The Niro Plus is firmly part of Kia’s plans to become a provider of sustainable mobility solutions and a leader in the development of PBV. It also reflects greater public demand for more sustainable ways to work and travel.

Kia is planning a general version of the Niro Plus for private owners, which can be used for many business and recreational purposes, including car rental services. For example, Kia envisions a scenario where a small business owner uses the Niro Plus for work during the week, before taking advantage of its versatility on the weekends for leisure activities like camping or trips to the seaside or the beach. Mountain.

The demand for delivery and logistics services has increased significantly following the acceleration of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the market for PBVs grows, Kia plans to gradually expand its range of micro to large PBVs that can potentially offer an alternative to public transport or even be used as mobile offices.

The general, non-taxi version of the Niro Plus will be available in select overseas markets in the second half of the year. In addition to the battery electric vehicle (BEV) version, the Niro Plus will be available as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) in these markets, reflecting country-specific characteristics and diverse customer needs. .

Kia aims to gradually expand its PBV business worldwide with the Niro Plus, and further launch markets and details will be announced soon.

Niro Plus taxi model – for Korean taxi operators

The Niro Plus taxi model is based on the first generation Niro EV – Kia’s popular electric crossover. Since its launch in 2018, the Niro EV has sold worldwide, demonstrating the public’s growing appetite for versatile BEVs.

Kia has made several improvements to the first generation Niro to make the Niro Plus ready to meet the high demands of Korean taxi operators. The length and height of the Niro Plus taxi model have increased by 10mm and 80mm respectively (compared to the first generation Niro without a roof rack), to give occupants more space inside the cabin. Lightweight structures also contributed to the larger cabin space, with the Niro Plus taxi model featuring slimmer seats and door trim compared to the original Niro EV. Additional passenger safety and convenience features, including door reflectors and assist handles, are also available in Taxi and General versions.

An integrated all-in-one display for the taxi model dramatically improves driver convenience and safety, eliminating the need for multiple devices and displays. The screen will include all relevant information for taxi drivers to perform their job seamlessly, including navigation, app taximeter, digital tachograph and voice recognition. The system will also include data on relevant points of interest and locations of nearby electric vehicle charging stations. Kia plans to partner with local and national companies to offer over-the-air (OTA) updates and services.

Notes to Editors

All data in this press release is subject to change and some technical features are only available in specific markets. Product details for each market will be confirmed closer to the start of the sale.