Kia has unveiled the Niro Plus, the brand’s first “purpose-built vehicle” (PBV), which will initially launch in Korea for various applications.

The Niro Plus will be a modified version of the Niro EV, seeing use as a general-purpose business/recreation model and taxi. Both of these models will be altered in ways to fit the demands of their customers respectively.

The taxi has been lengthened by 10mm and heightened by 80mm, providing more space for driver and occupants alike. Additional safety features and convenience technology, like an All-in-One Display (which removes the need for multiple screens), will also be added. Thanks to the vehicle's EV foundation, the Niro Plus will offer taxi services and customers with a zero-emissions ride-hailing service. The non-taxi version of the Niro Plus will be made available in select overseas markets in the second half of the year, available as a plug-in hybrid and hybrid version in said regions (said to reflect the country-specific characteristics and customer needs). 

“Kia is transforming its business strategy to focus on popularizing EVs, and introducing new mobility products that are tailored to the needs of users in markets around the world,” said Sangdae Kim, head of Kia eLCV Business Division. “The Niro Plus is our first step into the world of PBVs, a market that holds great potential for future development.”

This serves as Kia’s first major step in the PBV segment, with plans to launch the model in 2025-- by which time they project the global PBV market to mature. As such, Kia does plan on entering the global PBV scene, so it’s very possible the Niro Plus could come stateside, especially since they have expressed plans to become a market leader by 2030.