UK electric vehicle start-up Arrival has put on hold development of its ride-hailing car and stopped trials of its electric bus in a bid to save cash, the Financial Times has reported.
The company, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, announced in July it might have to lay off up to 800 employees in order to preserve funds ahead of the scheduled production start of its electric van in the autumn.
The project to build a dedicated ride-hailing EV for Uber could be revived once the van starts generating revenue, a source told the Financial Times. The company didn’t provide a comment.
Arrival, along with other newly listed automotive start-ups, including online used car retailer Cazoo, is struggling to raise new funds in the aftermath of falling share prices. Arrival's share price has fallen more than 90% since listing on the US stock market last March.
German bank Berenberg warned in May that Arrival was in danger of running out of money next year if it didn’t find an alternative source of credit. Arrival will have between $150 million and $250m (£124m-£206m) of cash left by the end of this year, Berenberg said in an analyst note, citing Arrival’s own figures.
Earlier this year, Arrival wrote off the value of the autonomous racing car project Roborace after judging it would never make money.
Arrival said in its statement in July that it would weather the current economic crisis due to the high level of vertical integration in its development and production model. Arrival’s first assembly site in Bicester, Oxfordshire, uses a low-capital investment ‘microfactory’ production system, in which the usual assembly line is replaced by flexible manufacturing cells.
The Arrival electric car was being developed in collaboration with Uber drivers to offer a car that emphasised elements important to the ride-hail market. The ambitious project, announced in 2021, was slated to come to market in 2023, an incredibly short time to market.