Hyundai and Kia will co-develop electric commercial vehicles with Arrival as part of an £85 million (€100m) investment.
The Korean car brands plan to introduce “competitively priced” small and medium-sized electric vans alongside other products for logistics and on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle service companies.
Using Arrival’s scalable electric ‘skateboard’ platform, the new vehicles can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types which will lead to the development of a range of Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBV).
Albert Biermann, president and head of research and development at Hyundai Motor Group, and Denis Sverdlovsk, Arrival CEO, signed a contract for investment and the joint development of electric vehicles at the headquarters of Hyundai and Kia in Seoul.
Of the total investment, Hyundai will contribute €80 million; Kia €20 million.
Picture caption: (L to R) Denis Sverdlov and Albert Biermann.
“The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations,” said Biermann. “Through the joint development of electric commercial vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, with Europe at the forefront.”
As Arrival transitions from R&D to full scale production, Hyundai and Kia will offer their combined expertise in mass manufacturing and vehicle launches, underpinning Arrival’s ambition of scaling rapidly around the world.
The UK business is working to create Generation 2 Electric Vehicles. Generation 1 electric vehicles are existing fossil fuel vehicles retrofitted with electric powertrains, making them expensive, inefficient and costly to run and maintain.
Arrival’s Generation 2 products have been designed from a blank sheet to overcome these shortcomings. They can be assembled using small footprint microfactories, located in areas of demand.
Sverdlovsk added: “Hyundai and Kia have been making amazing vehicles with uncompromising quality and share our vision for an electric mobility future. Our Strategic Partnership with Hyundai and Kia means we will scale Generation 2 electric vehicles globally and importantly - in the very near future.”