Arrival announced plans to establish its first U.S. Microfactory in York County. The $46 million investment into the region will create 240 new jobs.
Founded in 2015 and based in London, England, Arrival works with cities around the world to create zero-emission mobility solutions for today’s transportation challenges. The company’s South Carolina operations will utilize a new cell-based assembly method to produce vehicles rather than a traditional automotive production line, allowing the production of any vehicle from Arrival’s portfolio.
With this model, Arrival occupies a smaller footprint, hence the name “Microfactory.” The Microfactory design is key to Arrival’s approach to bringing down the cost of electric vehicles to accelerate mass adoption.
Arrival has entirely new approach to the design and assembly of electric vehicles. The company’s new method uses low CapEx, rapidly scalable Microfactories that can be placed anywhere in the world to serve the regions they are located in. These Microfactories, combined with proprietary in-house developed components, materials and software, enable the production of best in class vehicles that are competitively priced to fossil fuel variants. This transformative approach reduces the costs of production and emissions of shipping, and does not require massive upfront investment, creating strong unit economics for the whole of Arrival’s product portfolio, including its electric van and bus announced earlier this year.
Located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the company’s new operations will initially focus on building electric buses with Arrival’s vertically integrated approach to vehicle production, which utilizes the company’s in-house developed components, materials, and software. Materials for the electronic vehicles will be sourced from surrounding regions through a localized supply chain, which will also help to reduce the environmental impact.
Arrival is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2021, with the start of production in Q4 2021.
In a related news, Arrival said it has raised $118 million from funds managed by BlackRock. The fundraising will be used to support execution of the company’s growth plans as it ramps up vehicle production, including the Microfactory in South Carolina.
“We are excited to welcome BlackRock as a strategic financial investor with its excellent track record in ESG,” said Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO of Arrival. “This additional capital will be invested into Arrival’s growth, as we deepen and expand our presence in the U.S. and other new markets globally. With our new Microfactory in South Carolina, we are looking forward to partnering with more cities and companies to create a sustainable future.”
Arrival has made major inroads in the commercial electric vehicle market having received an order of 10,000 electric vans from logistics company UPS, with the option for a further 10,000. This investment is a reflection of the significant market opportunity for electric vehicles, particularly in the commercial segment, which continues to grow with increasing demand for ecommerce and is predicted to reach 8m commercial and passenger fleets by 2030 in the US alone. Arrival is poised to address this entire market, with its competitive price and substantially lower Total Cost of Ownership, solving the problem of pollution and congestion in cities around the world.