A British electric vehicle company is putting down roots in the U.S. and plans to take its new production concept global as demand for new mobility systems grows.
Arrival, which is developing electric vans and buses, announced last week that it is building a second microfactory in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company plans to assemble vehicles there for a fleet order from United Parcel Service starting in the second half of 2022.
President Avinash Rugoobur told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Monday its vertically integrated microfactories require less space and capital investments than traditional manufacturing facilities.
“We’re partnering with the city of Charlotte to produce a whole transportation ecosystem together,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview. “When you look at the global scale that needs to shift to being electric, we expect to have microfactories, you know, all around the world.”
Arrival is investing more than $41 million into the facility in Charlotte, where its U.S. headquarters is situated.
The company plans to go public via a blank-check merger with Ciig Merger and expects to hire more than 250 employees at the site. That’s in addition to the 650 jobs it said it would bring to the area as part of the corporate offices it announced in December.
Arrival says it’s on a mission to accelerate the transition to zero-emission commercial vehicles. The company claims a competitive advantage in that it designs its own batteries and other components in-house and writes its own software, Rugoobur said.
“What’s interesting about the microfactory is you can use existing warehouses and turn them into production facilities,” Rugoobur said.
UPS placed an order with Arrival almost a year ago for 10,000 Generation 2 Electric Vehicles as part of the shipping giant’s move to electrify its fleet of delivery vans. The delivery firm took a stake in Arrival at the same time.
The electric vehicles are expected to hit streets over the next four years.