Through the new partnership, the Korean car makers plan to “introduce competitively priced small and medium-sized electric vans and other products for logistics and on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle service companies” using Arrival’s scalable EV platform.
Arrival says its skateboard-style platform can be used for a range of bespoke new EVs across different categories. Its suitability for commercial vehicle applications will allow Hyundai and Kia to expand their EV range beyond passenger cars such as the e-Niro and Kona Electric. It will also reduce the average CO2 output of the manufacturers’ fleets ahead of tightening European emissions regulation in 2021.
Arrival was founded in 2015 but hasn't widely publicised its actions. It has 800 employees working in a series of innovative, small-footprint ‘microfactories’ in five countries that build vehicles to order to serve communities in the surrounding areas.
The company’s Gen2.0-EV is an electric van aimed at companies in urban areas. Technical details remain unconfirmed, but it's claimed to have a range of 300 miles and a payload of 4250kg. It's expected to be priced from £35,000 when it enters production in 2021.
Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov said: “We're excited to come out of stealth mode with our partnership with Hyundai and Kia, a globally respected OEM [original equipment manufacturer] with brilliant products on the road, and our complementary expertise will allow us to rapidly transition to full-scale global production.
“Accelerating electric vehicle adoption is good for everyone - for people, business and the planet – and we're pleased to undertake this mission with our partners Hyundai and Kia.”
Earlier this week, Kia announced development of a bespoke new EV arriving in 2021 as part of a £19 billion electric mobility development programme. Also detailed was a plan to branch out into commercial EVs with investment in global start-ups.
In 2019, the firms invested £60 million in Croatian hypercar firm Rimac as part of a technical partnership that will involve them developing two high-performance EVs by the end of this year.