On Thursday, in a joint statement, South Korea’s Hyundai Group and its sister firm Kia Motors Corp stated, they are backing a UK electric vehicle startup that plans on selling battery-powered delivery vans in 2021.
They plan on investing $110 million (100 million euros) in Uk-based Arrival Ltd.
Founded in 2015, London-based Arrival has developed a futuristic-looking shuttle bus aimed at the commercial delivery market. It said its vans will have a mile range of 300 miles between charges.
In a statement, Arrival stated it will work with both, Hyundai and Kia, to develop a variety of electric vehicles, initially for the commercial market. Those vehicles will be built on Arrival’s modular vehicle platform or “skateboard” that bundles motor, batteries and chassis components, similar to the skateboard developed by U.S. startup Rivian.
Rivian is backed by Amazon and Ford Motor Co and has a contract to build 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon starting from 2021.
In 2019, Hyundai and Kia have invested $89 million in Croatia-based Rimac Automobili, to build electric supercars that is also backed by Porsche AG.
In a statement, Arrival said its vehicles will be equipped with advanced driver assist features and can be upgraded with self-driving systems.
The price points of its vehicles will be in the same price range as its internal combustion engines cousins and will be built in small “microfactories.” Arrival’s strategy is the opposite of Tesla which uses massive “gigafactories.”
In the fall of 2019, Arrival had hired General Motors veteran Michael Ableson to head its new North American operations. With a small factory in Banbury, England, Arrival employs 800 people in five countries, including Germany, Israel and Russia.
Arrival’s prototype delivery vans are being tested by UPS, the Royal Mail, and DHL.