As soon as next year, Kia could roll out a line of body-swappable electric vans with an emphasis on customization. On the show floor of this year's Consumer Electronics Show though, Kia revealed that its midsize van option might be offered as a pickup with a concept render. If it makes production, it might be the most important electric pickup truck since the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The pickup might be offered under Kia's PBV electric van program, about which almost no technical info has yet been divulged. However, Kia CEO Ho Sung Song confirmed at CES that the midsize PV5 models will target a starting price of around $35,000, and enter production in 2025. That price is probably for bare chassis cabs and not any of the more complete body styles. The exec also emphasized that a pickup variant isn't set in stone, and showing a concept of one doesn't mean a truck is coming.
"The PV5 pickup truck is not fixed yet," Ho Sung Song told The Drive. "This is just one example of a model based on the chassis cab model. The pickup is just one of these varieties of the PV5 chassis cab model. It's not fixed yet, but we can try."
That said, Kia already confirmed that it'll launch two electric pickups within the next three years. One will be a cheaper model for "developing" markets and the other will be a dedicated pickup, likely more in the vein of what Americans know and love. Admittedly, the PV5 doesn't seem to fit either mold, though there's much good to be said of its unconventional design.
For example, its shorter nose means more of its wheelbase is dedicated to the cab and bed, enhancing utility. Its modular construction means the bed doesn't have to be a full-time commitment either, and could be swapped for an enclosed van body or passenger cabin as the need arises. Even the cab-over styling would be unique among electric trucks.
It's kind of like if a Canoo weren't so ungainly, not to mention believable. And at a price around $20,000 cheaper than a Ford F-150 Lightning, it's relatively affordable too. Smaller bed be damned, midsize trucks have a place in America too, especially ones that are electric.
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