electric/hybrid

Kia establishes ‘Purple M’ mobility service to accelerate EV mobility services

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Kia Motors Corporation has announced the founding of ‘Purple M’, a new mobility service start-up designed in partnership with  Korean technology firm Code42.ai to offer customised EV mobility services.
Kia establishes ‘Purple M’ mobility service to accelerate EV mobility services
Courtesy of Kia Motors

Purple M is a new joint venture  aimed at creating new concepts for mobility services and realise a shared goal of leading innovation in future mobility. The partnership is expected to create a range of synergies for developing new Transportation as a Service (TaaS) services for customers. Purple M will use Code42.ai’s Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS), a comprehensive mobility platform which integrates autonomous vehicle and air transportation services including e-hailing, fleet management, demand-responsive shuttle and smart logistics.

“With the newly established ‘Purple M’, Kia will be reborn as a leader for the era of e-mobility” said Ho Sung Song, CEO and President of Kia. “Code42.ai is a leading Korean company in the field of future innovation technology, and is the best partner for successfully promoting a differentiated e-mobility service business.”

In spite of increasing consumer interest in EVs, mobility services are still driven primarily by internal combustion engine vehicles, creating opportunities for an EV mobility ‘first mover’. Purple M aims to establish a comprehensive and flexible e-mobility service platform, and lead the development of a sustainable EV ecosystem by deploying EVs. It will establish collaborative partnerships with specialist providers to develop a flexible e-mobility infrastructure and offer a wide range of services to a broad customer base. In particular, Purple M aims to contribute to the revitalisation of Korea’s domestic mobility industry by cooperating with various mobility market players, while presenting new standards for mobility business models in the post-coronavirus era.

Through their investment in Purple M, Kia and Code42.ai will strengthen their ongoing partnership, with each party appointing directors to the board. Chang Song, founder and CEO of Code42.ai, will serve as Chairman. Song’s extensive experience with global IT firms and insights into future industries will help lead innovation. Seo Young-wu, a former CEO of Poolus, a carpooling service start-up, is appointed as CEO of Purple M. Seo is considered the right person to successfully lead the company based on his invaluable experience operating mobility service businesses.

“Our goal is to accelerate the era of electric vehicles through Purple M” said Chang Song of Code42.ai. “The integrated mobility and logistics platform UMOS will be central to building an e-mobility ecosystem encompassing everything from infrastructure to services.”

The new start-up is expected to provide a model for collaboration between larger, well-established firms and smaller, younger companies in Korea, as the country seeks to establish a new start-up ecosystem to encourage technological innovation.

Earlier this year, Kia announced ‘Plan S’, its mid- to long-term strategy aimed at progressively establishing a leadership position in the future automotive industry, encompassing mobility services and vehicle electrification, connectivity and autonomy.

‘Plan S’ outlines Kia’s preemptive and enterprising ‘shift’ from a business system focused on internal combustion engines toward one centered on electric vehicles and customised mobility solutions. Under ‘Plan S’, Kia will innovate its brand and enhance profitability.

For additional information:

Kia Motors

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