UK electric van maker receives £85m investment from Hyundia/Kia
Thu 16 January 2020 | Back to news list
Hyundai and Kia have announced an £85m ($100m) investment in UK-based electric van maker - and LowCVP member - Arrival. The money will be used by Arrival to scale up production of its electric van targeted at the commercial vehicle market.
The cash injection - which values Arrival at £3bn - means that the company has achieved “unicorn” status, a new company valued at more than $1bn (£770m). The Guardian reports that this is a rare feat with British manufacturing.
Arrival was founded in 2015 by Denis Sverdlov, a Russian entrepreneur who sold Yota, a telecoms firm and smartphone manufacturer, in 2013. Arrival has since grown rapidly, expanding its UK and global workforce from 600 people in September to 800.
The company has a factory in Banbury, but it has plans to build “microfactories” near major markets such as Los Angeles and New York. The company says its novel approach means that those plants would be profitable producing only a few thousands vans a year.
Arrival’s first product is a battery-powered electric van, priced at the same level as comparable petrol or diesel vehicles. The van is targeted at urban delivery, which doesn't have the longer range needs that today’s battery technology can struggle to meet. Prototype vans have already been trialled by delivery companies including Royal Mail, DHL and DPD, as well as BT.
Arrival has developed most of the vehicle itself, including software, components, materials and a modular “skateboard” platform. The company says it also has a longer-term ambition to enter the more competitive market for passenger cars.
Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division for Hyundai Motor Group, said: “The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations. Through the joint development of electric commercial vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, with Europe at the forefront.”
Arrival’s CEO Denis Sverdlovsk added: “Arrival has created a game changing product category - Generation 2.0 electric vehicles. Hyundai and Kia have been making amazing vehicles with uncompromising quality and share our vision for an electric mobility future. Our Strategic Partnership with Hyundai and Kia means we will scale Generation 2 electric vehicles globally and importantly - in the very near future.”
By working with Arrival, Hyundai and Kia plan to supply eco-friendly vans and buses – built in volume and based on Arrival’s platform – to European logistics companies and mobility companies that provide on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle services.
Hyundai and Kia recently announced the development of a fully-electric Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV). Hyundai presented its PBV concept as one of the smart mobility solutions at CES 2020 earlier in January.
The partnership with Arrival enables Hyundai to accelerate its ‘Two-track’ strategy to deliver battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions for the European commercial vehicle market. To further support that strategy, Hyundai recently established Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM), the joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen energy company H2 Energy. It aims to export 1,600 hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Europe by 2025, following the first export to Europe on January 3 as part of a pilot program.
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