Hyundai/Kia investing in Arrival to co-develop electric vehicle technology

Hyundai and its sister company Kia announced today an investment in UK-based Arrival, an electric vehicle startup company. The plan is to use Arrival’s scalable electric vehicle skateboard platform to develop several new vehicles for a range of target markets.

In a statement sure to infuriate American fans of Kia and Hyundai EV’s, the press release says: “The partnership with Arrival will help Hyundai and Kia meet rapidly growing demand in Europe for eco-friendly commercial vehicles, and accelerate the brands’ transformation from car makers to clean-mobility providers.”

As the owner of a 2015 Kia Soul EV, I can attest that Kia knows how to build good quality electric vehicles. But it is already infuriating enough that Kia has sold very few of them in the USA, and that they have delayed bringing the upgraded Soul EV to the USA until 2021. At the same time Kia has focused Soul EV sales on Europe, and this statement suggests that Hyundai and Kia will continue focusing on Europe.

Ahem… anyway….

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Their new partner, Arrival, has production plants and R&D centers in the US, Germany, Tel Aviv, Russia and the UK. They claim their skateboard vehicle is an excellent and flexible base design from which to build a variety of vehicle types.

This will allow Hyundai and Kia to transition from manufacturing vehicles that are redesigned gasoline cars, to manufacturing purpose built electric vehicles. At CES 2020 the companies unveiled a purpose built vehicle (PBV) concept, and also announced a plan to develop purpose built vehicles for light cargo delivery vans and “shared service companies”.

HYUNDAI AND KIA MAKE STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN ARRIVAL TO CO-DEVELOP ELECTRIC COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

  • Agreement accelerates Hyundai and Kia’s clean-mobility transformation
  • €100 million investment enables co-development of eco-friendly vans and other products for logistics, on-demand ride-hailing, and shuttle service companies
  • Partnership takes advantage of Arrival’s scalable ‘skateboard’ platform technology to underpin future Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV) from Hyundai and Kia
  • Arrival has developed in-house software, materials, components and other technologies for development of Generation 2.0 electric vehicles
  • Boosts Hyundai-Kia strategy for deployment of electrified commercial vehicles


SEOUL, January 15, 2020
 – Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation today announced a strategic investment of €100 million (US $110 million) in a new partnership with Arrival, a UK-based electric vehicle startup.

Through the partnership, Hyundai and Kia plan to introduce competitively priced small and medium-sized electric vans and other products for logistics and on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle service companies. Arrival’s scalable electric platform can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types which Arrival, Hyundai and Kia will explore for development of a range of Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV).

The partnership with Arrival will help Hyundai and Kia meet rapidly growing demand in Europe for eco-friendly commercial vehicles, and accelerate the brands’ transformation from car makers to clean-mobility providers.

Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division for Hyundai Motor Group, and Denis Sverdlov, Chief Executive Officer of Arrival, signed a contract for investment and the joint development of electric vehicles at the headquarters of Hyundai and Kia in Seoul. Of the total investment, Hyundai will contribute €80 million; Kia €20 million.

“The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations,” said Biermann. “Through the joint development of electric commercial vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, with Europe at the forefront.”

Arrival’s CEO Sverdlov added: “Arrival has created a game changing product category – Generation 2.0 electric vehicles. Hyundai and Kia have been making amazing vehicles with uncompromising quality and share our vision for an electric mobility future. Our Strategic Partnership with Hyundai and Kia means we will scale Generation 2 electric vehicles globally and importantly – in the very near future.”

Hyundai and Kia to use Arrival’s modular, scalable ‘skateboard’ EV platform

Founded in 2015, Arrival has production plants and R&D centers in the US, Germany, Tel Aviv, Russia and the UK. The company’s strength lies in its ‘skateboard’ vehicle platform with a modular component structure, a cost-effective base which incorporates a battery pack, electric motor and driveline components.

Fully-scalable to accommodate multiple vehicle types, the platform can be used to accelerate vehicle development to meet diverse customer needs. Currently, Arrival is carrying out pilot projects with multiple logistics companies in Europe using cargo vans manufactured with the technology.

With the rapid global growth in online shopping, the volume of light commercial vehicles in urban areas has increased. The demand for eco-friendly commercial vehicles is expected to continue growing as environmental regulations tighten. From 2021, the EU will introduce the world’s most stringent vehicle emissions regulations, limiting each automaker’s fleet-wide average CO2 emissions by around 27%, from 130 g/km to 95 g/km.

By working with Arrival, Hyundai and Kia plan to supply eco-friendly vans and other commercial vehicles – built in volume and based on Arrival’s platform – to European logistics companies and mobility companies that provide on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle services.

PBVs to underpin growth in eco-friendly commercial vehicle sector

Hyundai and Kia recently announced the development of a fully-electric Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV). Hyundai presented its PBV concept as one of the smart mobility solutions at CES 2020 earlier this month. At its CEO Investor Day on January 14, Kia also announced its plan to develop a PBV for shared-service companies and logistics companies.

Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Group said: “This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia. We will accelerate investment and cooperation with companies with advanced technology such as Arrival, to respond to the rapidly changing eco-friendly vehicle market.”

“We are excited to come out of stealth mode with our partnership with Hyundai and Kia, a globally respected OEM with brilliant products on the road, and our complementary expertise will allow us to rapidly transition to full scale global production. Accelerating electric vehicle adoption is good for everyone – for people, business and the planet and we are pleased to undertake this mission with our partners Hyundai and Kia”, added Avinash Rugoobur, Chief Strategy Officer of Arrival.

The partnership with Arrival enables Hyundai to accelerate its ‘Two-track’ strategy to deliver battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions for the European commercial vehicle market. To further support that strategy, Hyundai recently established Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM), the joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen energy company H2 Energy. It aims to export 1,600 hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Europe by 2025, following the first export to Europe on January 3 as part of a pilot program.

Under ‘open innovation’ spirit, Hyundai and Kia are exploring partnerships with various businesses to build a leadership position in the rapidly expanding global EV market. In May 2019, Hyundai and Kia invested KRW 100 billion (US $90 million) in Rimac, a Croatian high-performance electric vehicle company, focusing on collaborative research to secure capabilities to lead the global high-performance electric vehicle market. In September 2019, Hyundai and Kia also invested in IONITY, Europe’s largest high-power electric vehicle charging network, and set the stage for sales expansion of EVs within Europe.

About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is committed to becoming a lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond with its range of world-class vehicles and mobility services available in more than 200 countries. Employing more than 110,000 employees worldwide, Hyundai has sold more than 4.5 million vehicles globally. Hyundai Motor continues to enhance its product line-up with vehicles that are helping to build solutions for a more sustainable future, such as NEXO, the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV.

More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: worldwide.hyundai.com or globalpr.hyundai.com

About Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors (www.kia.com) is a maker of world-class quality vehicles for the young-at-heart. Founded in 1944, Kia today sells around 3 million vehicles a year in 190 countries, with more than 52,000 employees worldwide, annual revenues of over US$49 billion and manufacturing facilities in five countries. Kia is the major partner of the Australian Open, official automotive partner of FIFA, official partner of the UEFA Europa League, and main partner of League of Legends European Championship. The company’s brand slogan – “The Power to Surprise” – represents Kia’s global commitment to surprise the world with exciting, inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

Visit the Kia Motors Global Media Center for more information: www.kianewscenter.com

About Hyundai Motor Group
Hyundai Motor Group is a global corporation that has created a value chain based on automobiles, steel, and construction and includes logistics, finance, IT and service. With about 250,000 employees worldwide, the Group’s automobile brands include Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp and Genesis. Armed with creative thinking, cooperative communication and the will to take on all challenges, we are working to create a better future for all.

More information about Hyundai Motor Group, please see: www.hyundaimotorgroup.com

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About Arrival
Arrival is a technology company creating Generation 2 Electric Vehicles – a new product category that surpasses existing electric vehicles in cost, design and efficiency.

Founded in 2015, Arrival has over 800 people globally and is headquartered in London, UK. It also has offices in Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Russia and the US.

Arrival has created in-house software, components, sustainable materials and modular skateboard platforms to enable Generation 2 vehicles. Purpose Built Vehicles of any weight, type, size and shape are produced from Arrival’s platforms and assembled by microfactories. Each low footprint microfactory produces any vehicle on demand and is located to serve local communities. They are profitable from thousands of units and can be deployed within 3 months.

Arrival’s vehicles are priced the same, or less than, current fossil fuel vehicles, making the decision to switch to electric inevitable, and increasing the adoption of electric technology globally. With over 300million commercial vehicles in the world, this will have a huge impact on people, business and the planet.

Disclaimer: Hyundai Motor Group believes the information contained herein to be accurate at the time of release. However, the company may upload new or updated information if required and assumes that it is not liable for the accuracy of any information interpreted and used by the reader.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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