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And now for something completely different from Hyundai – a fully electric work van that looks like it has traveled back from the future. The ST1 sounds like the name of a trim level for a Ford Fiesta ST (RIP) or Focus ST sold in Europe. However, this alphanumeric designation denotes a purpose-built lineup of workhorses bundled as “Service Type 1” vehicles.

In typical Hyundai fashion, this initial reveal is only about the exterior design, with no details about technical specifications. We do know the ST1 is exclusively electric and has been developed to cater to small businesses in South Korea. It will be offered as a regular cargo van, a refrigerated van, and as a basic chassis cab for owners to retrofit the type of equipment they need.

Hyundai ST1
Hyundai ST1

Hyundai says it worked with local delivery companies to find out what they need from a work van. Riding on steelies and fitted with unpainted bumpers, the workhorse has a futuristic front-end design derived from the Staria minivan or the Kona small crossover. The main headlights are mounted unusually low while the full-width horizontal strip above is presumably for the daytime running lights.

The ST1 is tailored to those who need a more spacious van than what the Staria Load can offer and has chunky plastic cladding all around to protect the body. Much like on the Kona EV, the charging port is mounted at the front, to the right of what appears to be a small air intake. Hyundai likely had a good reason to put the front camera on the painted section of the bumper instead of moving it lower to blend it with the black plastic.

Hyundai says it developed the ST1 with the intent to make it easier to load and unload cargo by lowering the ride height. Although it looks like a box on wheels, the front upper spoiler was conceived with aerodynamic efficiency in mind. Even the bulky garnish connecting the cabin to the cargo area was designed to provide better airflow.

Full details and pricing will be disclosed in the first half of 2024 before the ST1 hits the domestic market later this year. Hyundai intends to sell the workhorse in other regions after the ST1 goes on sale in Korea.

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