Electric vehicle firm achieves ‘unicorn’ status

White Minivans on road

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UK electric vehicle maker Arrival has achieved ‘unicorn’ status following backing from Innovate UK and the UKRI Challenge Fund.

Unicorn status is achieved with an evaluation of more than $1 billion. Arrival’s valuation in early 2020 followed an investment of €100 million from Hyundai Motor Group.

The investment is part of a strategic partnership between Arrival and Hyundai whose aim is to help facilitate a global transition to electric vehicles. United Parcel Service (UPS) subsequently placed an order for 10,000 of Arrival’s electric delivery vehicles with the option of a further 10,000.

Arrival claims its vehicles represent an advance over previous iterations of commercial electric trucks and vans by:

  • costing the same as petrol and diesel equivalents
  • providing a better experience for all stakeholders.

The move is part of UPS’s strategy to transform its fleet to zero emissions.

Price parity and experience

Nick Clay, head of homologation and regulatory affairs at Arrival, said:

Arrival’s focus is on the experience for everyone who interacts with an Arrival product – that might be the driver, the passengers, a cleaner or fleet operator.

In addition, we have worked so that our zero-emissions vehicles achieve price parity with fossil-fuel equivalents, with customers making even greater savings over the lifetime of the vehicle.

To meet the anticipated demand from the transportation and logistics industry, Arrival will build micro factories located close to areas of demand and utilising local supply chains. The first of which will open near Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Arrival’s recent success comes off the back of government-funded research and development. The company took part in five research projects in 2018 and received total funding of £7.5 million, £5.6 million of which came from the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund for the Robopilot project.

Arrival’s part in the project was to develop autonomous driving systems.

Nick added:

Through projects with Innovate UK, we have fostered relationships with industry leaders such as UPS, EDF and First Group, helping to build our reputation and expand our knowledge as we seek to make urban environments sustainable.

Last updated: 13 February 2023

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