Arrival, an electric vehicle manufacturer supported by Hyundai and Kia preparing to build electric delivery vans for UPS, has funding worth $118 million from investment giant BlackRock to fund small-scale factories that the U.K.-based startup considers its battery-powered models a cost advantage over competitors.
BlackRock’s investment is the prevalent infusion of funds Arrival has won to date and comes days after the company declared its first U.S. “microfactory” will be built in South Carolina. The $46 million facility will be able to make as many as 1,000 electric buses annually and employ 240 people when it opens in 2021. Arrival’s first microfactory, in Bicester, England, also opens in 2021.
“This additional capital will be invested into Arrival’s growth, as we deepen and expand our presence in the U.S. and other new markets globally,” founder and CEO Denis Sverdlov said. “With our new microfactory in South Carolina, we are looking forward to partnering with more cities and companies to create a sustainable future.”
Established in London in 2015 by entrepreneur Sverdlov, who made a private fortune from his sale of Russian cell phone company Yota in 2012, Arrival targets to be a leading provider of electric trucks and buses as demand for emission-free vehicles expands. The company states its commercial vans will cost the same as conventional models running on diesel or gasoline and that its electric buses will be the most affordable on the market, permitting them to be sold without heavy public subsidies. Also, it articulates it can sell electric transit buses at much lower prices than those of industry heavyweights, which comprise New Flyer, Proterra, and BYD.