UBER and Kia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the two companies to collaborate on Kia's planned development and deployment of all-electric PBVs.
The partnership will seek to produce Kia PBVs optimised for drivers and fleets as part of Kia's ‘Platform Beyond Vehicle' strategy.
The agreement was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where Kia revealed its Concept PV5 MPV.
"PBVs will play a key role in the customisation of mobility, and by partnering with Uber, Kia aims to deliver industry-leading technology with advanced software and services to enhance the ride hailing experience," said SeungKyu Yoon, president and CEO of Kia America.
"Drivers on the Uber platform will also have the ability to choose Kia vehicles with a comprehensive suite of offerings that will ease the ramp up of electrification and help achieve both Kia's and Uber's sustainability goals."
Susan Anderson, Uber's vice president and its global head of business development, said: "Drivers on the Uber platform are already EV early adopters, going electric six to seven times faster than the general population in the US and Europe.
"That's great for all of us because when rideshare drivers go electric, communities see three to four times the emissions benefits compared with an average driver making the switch.
"By teaming up with Kia and providing our insights, we aim to broaden the appeal and lower the cost of electric vehicles, making them a more natural choice for more drivers."
Kia's PBV project is a multi-phase, decade-long plan which will see PBVs revolutionise the mobility industry while helping to advance the Hyundai Motor Group's ambitions in robotics and autonomous driving.
The PBV business will initially be based around the introduction of an all-new, modular vehicle, called the Kia PV5, with more versions set to be launched, including: PV5 High Roof, PV5 Van, PV5 Chassis Cab, PV5 robo-taxi and PV5 Pick-up.
While all variants will be based on the same modular versatility of the base model, each will offer a unique set of characteristics, with further Uber-specific optimisations tailored for the ride hailing market.
Further details of Kia's PBV strategy and implementation in the UK will be revealed in due course.