Today, Hyundai and Kia confirmed that they are investing €100 million ($111 million USD) in UK-based electric vehicle startup Arrival, and they will work together on new vehicles.
We have previously reported on Arrival when they unveiled a neat-looking all-electric delivery truck and scored contracts with the Royal Mail and UPS.
When first unveiling the vehicle in 2017, Arrival talked about “revolutionary ultra-lightweight composite materials that significantly reduce the weight of the vehicle, and by combining this technology with Arrival’s custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, the cost of operating has been reduced by more than 50%.”
They say that they optimized the maximum range to weight ratio for inner city deliveries with battery packs enabling up to 100 miles of range on 3.5, 6, and 7.5 tonne trucks.
For the UPS trucks, Arrival said that they will have “a battery range of more than 150 miles (240 kilometers).”
Now Hyundai plans to use Arrival’s technology:
Through the course of the partnership, Arrival, Hyundai, and Kia will use Arrival’s flexible skateboard platforms and technologies to create new purpose-built electric vehicles (PBVs) across multiple vehicle categories. Hyundai and Kia will leverage Arrival’s novel microfactories and software innovation while Arrival will benefit from the OEM’s global footprint and economies of scale. This will help accelerate the ‘Two Track’ strategy adopted by Hyundai, to bring zero-emissions battery and fuel cell technologies to the commercial vehicle market.
CEO of Arrival Denis Sverdlov commented on the announcement:
Arrival has created a game-changing product category — Generation 2 Electric Vehicles. Hyundai and KIA make world-class vehicles with uncompromising quality. This strategic partnership will empower our companies to scale Generation 2 Electric Vehicles globally.
What Arrival refers to “Generation 2 Electric Vehicles” are EVs built from the ground up to be electric versus what the company calls “Generation 1 Electric Vehicles,” which they see has conversions of existing vehicle models to be produced with electric drivetrains.
Albert Biermann, president and head of the research and development division at Hyundai Motor Group, also commented on the new partnership:
The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to reinforcement of environmental regulations. Through the joint development of commercial electric vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market.
Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer at Hyundai Motor Group, added:
This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia. We will accelerate investment and cooperation with companies with advanced technology such as Arrival, to respond to the rapidly changing eco-friendly vehicle market.
They didn’t release a timeline for bringing an electric vehicle to market together, but they did note that Arrival could take advantage of Hyundai’s mass production expertise to scale.
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