London-based Arrival has raised $118m from funds managed by BlackRock to support the company’s ramp-up of commercial electric vehicle production through its so-called Microfactories.
Arrival said its Microfactories require low capital expenditure and are rapidly scalable so can be placed anywhere in the world to serve the regions they are located in.
The Microfactories employ a new cell-based assembly method rather than a traditional automotive production line, allowing the production of any vehicle from Arrival’s portfolio – including electric vans and buses – using proprietary in-house developed components, materials, and software.
This approach is said to produce vehicles that are competitively priced to fossil fuel variants, reduces the costs of production, and lowers emissions incurred through shipping.
“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 US and other new markets globally.”
To date, Arrival has received an order of 10,000 electric vans from UPS, with the option for a further 10,000.
On October 13, 2020 Arrival announced the launch of its first US Microfactory in York County, South Carolina, an investment of $46m into the region and the creation of 240 jobs. Arrival will begin fitting out the unit and is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2021, with start of production in the fourth quarter.
The company’s new operations in South Carolina will initially focus on building electric buses with Arrival’s vertically integrated approach to vehicle production. Materials for the electronic vehicles will be sourced from surrounding regions through a localised supply chain.
Once operational, Arrival’s Microfactories will be capable of producing 10,000 vans or 1,000 buses per year.