Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have made a €100m (£85m) investment in UK based electric vehicle company Arrival as it is claims ‘unicorn’ status.

The investment begins a strategic partnership between the traditional automakers and the electric vehicle firm to jointly accelerate adoption of electric vehicles (EV).

Hyundai and Kia will use London-based Arrival’s electric vehicle technology, which is designed with in-house software and components, and assembled using what it calls ‘microfactories’.

The firm last year expanded its West London operation to 50,000 sq ft after signing deals with the likes of DHL, UPS, Royal Mail and John Lewis.

It has also worked with Blackberry, to install its QNX operating system into the vehicles.

 

Arrival, Kia, and Hyundai leaders

(L-R) Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s chief strategy officer; Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of Arrival; Albert Biermann, president and head of research and development division at Hyundai Motor Group; Edward Lee executive vice president of Hyundai

Founded in 2015, the firm has engineered a ‘skateboard’ platform, in which the electric propulsion system is built into the very base of its vehicles. The design allows more flexibility in the design of its cabins.

It claims its vehicles are priced the same, or less than, current fossil fuel vehicles and can save 50 per cent on the cost of ownership.

Through the course of the partnership, Arrival, Hyundai and Kia will use this platform alongside its other designs and insight to create purpose built electric vehicles across multiple vehicle categories.

Arrival and Royal Mail

Royal Mail’s electric delivery van, created by Arrival

In return, Arrival will benefit from the manufacturers’ footprint and economies of scale.

Denis Sverdlov, is founder and CEO of Arrival, which refers to natively electric vehicles as ‘Generation 2’.

“Hyundai and KIA make world-class vehicles with uncompromising quality. This strategic partnership will empower our companies to scale Generation 2 Electric Vehicles globally,” he said.

Albert Biermann, President and head of research and development division at Hyundai Motor Group, said the partnership was the beginning of an accelerated investment and cooperation with companies such as Arrival.

“The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to reinforcement of environmental regulations,” he said.

“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.”