Kia starts pilot of last-mile delivery service in Singapore for future PBV business

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Kia is to start a ‘breakthrough’ pilot project in last-mile delivery in Singapore as part of its plans to break into the Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) business.

Kia and S.lab Asia have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at launching a pilot project in Singapore using the e-Niro and evaluating the potential for a future PBV-based business model

The brand said at the start of 2020 that it’s looking to develop logistics and leisure-based Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs) as part of its ‘Plan S’ mid-to long-term strategy, and it’s now working with cold-chain start-up S.lab Asia to develop a pilot project using the e-Niro and evaluating the potential for a future PBV-based business model.

PBVs are vehicles that are designed for specific applications, such as last-mile delivery, autonomous shuttles and chauffeur-driven luxury vehicles.

In the case of the new project, as Kia’s next-generation PBVs are currently undergoing final product development and optimisation, the work will use an e-Niro modified for last-mile logistics service in Singapore’s city centre, helping to respond to the needs of the rapidly growing e-commerce market.

The operations will begin in Singapore in the first half of this year and will provide Kia with core PBV project competencies and experiences, including: developing EV-based PBVs that are optimised for last-mile delivery; advancing the Car as a Service (CaaS) platform for fleets and leasing needs; establishing an EV-charging ecosystem; and creating an EV fleet management services structure.

DongSoo Ahn, vice president and head of the PBV Business Group at Kia Corporation, said: “Through this agreement, Kia will leave a strong image of itself as a collaborative partner providing new value to global mobility service companies. Kia will strive to lead the global PBV market by establishing partnerships with various operators through not only last-mile delivery services but also various open-innovation collaborations.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.