Hyundai and Kia are investing 100 million euros in the British electric vehicle developer Arrival. The Korean manufacturers want to use Arrival’s platform to develop electric commercial vehicles for various applications such as logistics or ride hailing and shuttle service companies.
The investment comes at an opportune time, as Arrival is getting ready to release the second generation of their battery-electric vehicles. According to the manufacturer, these are a “new category of electric vehicles that surpass traditional vehicles in cost, design and efficiency.” Additionally, the design allows for production in small scale “microfactories”, which would serve local communities and maintain a small footprint, while still achieving profitability.
The first generation of Arrival’s vehicles relied on retrofitting older fossil fuel vehicles, while the new generation will yield it’s own vehicles. Over the course of the partnership, Hyundai and Kia intend to use Arrival’s skateboard platform technology to design new electric vehicles “across multiple vehicle categories.”
Arrival, on the other hand, will benefit from the large OEM’s scope and market access, as Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of the company, specified: “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.”
Hyundai also sees much potential in the vehicle technology, particularly in Europe as a market: Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group, added “The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to reinforcement of environmental regulations. Through the joint development of commercial electric vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market.”
To ensure a smooth transition, Arrival also tailored their EVs to the expectations of ICE drivers, pricing their vehicles either in the same area as their ICE counterparts, or even below an internal combustion vehicle. The partners did not specify a time-plan in which they aimed to commercialize the technology or scale up production