UK electric van company Arrival reaches unicorn status

Latest €100M Hyundai and Kia investment values the company at £3 billion

Credit: Arrival Ltd

Arrival, a UK based electric vehicle manufacturer has received a €100M investment from Hyundai and Kia that has projected it into one of the highest valuations for the UK economy.

The value Hyundai and Kia have seen in Arrival is in its electric van, which the company hopes it can accelerate into production with the investment and joint development with the Korean car giants.  According to Arrival its electric van has an advantage as it is a Generation 2 electric vehicle manufacturer. Generation 1 electric vehicles are existing fossil fuel vehicles retrofitted with electric power trains, which means they are not necessarily the most efficient designs. Instead Arrival believes its Generation 2 products surpass traditional vehicles in cost, design and efficiency.

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.

Arrival also clams its vehicles can be assembled using small footprint microfactories, located in areas of demand and become profitable at deliveries of just a few thousands of units. It thinks that this means it can price its new vans at a competitive rate to current vehicles on the market especially when bought at bulk by fleet manufacturers.

The investment marks the start of a strategic partnership between the automakers to jointly accelerate the adoption of commercial electric vehicles globally. Hyundai and Kia will use key Arrival technologies to help achieve their recently announced goal to develop mobility services and electrify their vehicle fleets.

Through the course of the partnership, Arrival, Hyundai and Kia will use Arrival’s flexible skateboard platforms and technologies to create new purpose built electric vehicles (PBVs) across multiple vehicle categories. They also hope to leverage Arrival’s microfactories and software whilst Arrival will benefit from the OEM’s global footprint and economies of scale.

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.”

According to Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Group, “This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia. We will accelerate investment and cooperation with companies with advanced technology such as Arrival, to respond to the rapidly changing eco-friendly vehicle market.”

“We are excited to come out of stealth mode with our partnership with Hyundai Motor Group,” said Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s Chief Strategy Officer, “and our complementary expertise will allow us to rapidly design, build and roll out vehicles together. Accelerating electric vehicle adoption is good for everyone - for people, business and the planet and we are pleased to undertake this mission with our partners Hyundai and Kia.”

J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor and placement agent in connection with the Class A funding round.

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