The collaboration aims to advance electric vehicle (EV) options and support Uber's 2040 zero emissions goal.
Purpose-built vehicles (PBVs): Kia will develop purpose-built EVs, previewed by the Kia Concept PV5 model, optimized for versatility. The introduction of various models is slated for 2025.
Shared goals: The partnership focuses on tailoring vehicles to Uber's ride-hailing requirements. Efforts include integrating technologies and services to benefit drivers and riders.
Growth of the Kia Flex Program: The expansion of Kia's Flex leasing program will add new EV offerings, including insurance and maintenance.
Expected features include advanced software, interactive systems, personalized cabin environments, and enhanced safety.
Goals include exploring economic benefits like reduced ownership costs and the possibility of Battery as a Service (BaaS) subscriptions to reduce the initial cost of vehicle ownership.
Broader adoption of EVs by rideshare drivers could substantially lower community emissions levels.
What they say:
"Purpose-built vehicles will be an integral part of the transformation of mobility," said Sangdae Kim, head of Kia's PBV division. "This collaboration aims to enhance Kia's PBV development with vehicles tailored to ride-hailing needs, focusing on advanced software, interactive systems, and safety technologies."
Susan Anderson, Uber's vice president of global business development, noted the environmental benefits of the partnership. "Uber drivers have a higher adoption rate of electric vehicles than the average consumer. By working together, we aim to expand the accessibility and affordability of electric vehicles. Broader EV use by rideshare drivers can contribute to significant emissions reductions."
What Comes Next:
This collaboration supports Hyundai Motor Group's broader autonomous vehicle and mobility initiatives.
The project will start with the modular Kia PV5 and expand to include variations such as the PV5 High Roof, PV5 Van, PV5 Chassis Cab, PV5 Robotaxi, and PV5 Pickup, each designed for specific ride-hailing needs.