Hyundai and Kia invest €100 million into electric van firm Arrival
Korean car giants Hyundai and Kia are investing €100 million into Arrival, a UK start-up manufacturer of electric vans for delivery companies and other uses.
Through the strategic partnership, Hyundai and Kia plan to introduce competitively priced small and medium-sized electric vans and other products for logistics, on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle service companies. Arrival's scalable electric platform can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types which the three companies will explore for the development of a range of Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV).
Arrival said its immediate focus is on the commercial vehicle market which has seen the largest increase in usage and therefore emissions as over 90% of commercial vehicles are diesel-fuelled. But electric vehicles fit seamlessly within commercial fleets as they benefit from predictable routes and overnight depot charging.
The UK company said it is “reimagining” vehicle design and assembly to create Generation 2 Electric Vehicles. Generation 1 electric vehicles are existing fossil fuel vehicles retrofitted with electric power trains, making them expensive, inefficient and costly to run and maintain.
In contrast, Arrival’s Generation 2 products have been designed from a blank sheet and surpass traditional vehicles in cost, design and efficiency, it explained. Generation 2 vehicles are assembled using small footprint microfactories, located in areas of demand and profitable at thousands of units.
Headquartered in London with over 800 employees in 5 countries Arrival is vertically integrated, and has created in-house software, components, sustainable materials and modular skateboard platforms.
“As a result of the clever design and assembly process, Arrival’s vehicles are priced the same, or less than, current fossil fuel vehicles. This gives fleet managers a compelling commercial and environmental reason to switch to electric and will accelerate the adoption of electric technology globally,” the British firm claimed.
In parallel, the partnership with Arrival will help Hyundai and Kia meet the rapidly growing demand in Europe for eco-friendly commercial vehicles, and accelerate the brands' transformation from car makers to clean-mobility providers.
Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division for Hyundai Motor Group, and Denis Sverdlov, Chief Executive Officer of Arrival, signed a contract for investment and the joint development of electric vehicles at the headquarters of Hyundai and Kia in Seoul. Of the total investment, Hyundai will contribute €80 million; Kia €20 million.
"The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations," said Biermann. "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 Sverdlov added: "Arrival has created a game changing product category - Generation 2 Electric Vehicles. Hyundai and KIA make world-class vehicles with uncompromising quality. This strategic partnership will empower our companies to scale Generation 2 Electric Vehicles globally."