Rather than developing their own electric commercial vehicles, it seems Hyundai and Kia are putting their money on Arrival, a UK-based electric vehicle startup, instead. The South Korean automotive group recently announced that they will be partnering and investing around $110 million into the EV startup.
Through the partnership, Arrival will work together with Kia and Hyundai to develop various electric vehicles intended for the commercial market. These include small to medium-sized electric vans and other products for logistics. The commercials EVs, which are called Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV), will be built on Arrival's scalable 'skateboard' platform which can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types.
“The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations. 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,” said Albert Biermann, president and Head of Research and Development Division for Hyundai Motor Group.
With Arrival's partnership, Hyundai and Kia will be able to meet the rapidly growing demand in Europe for eco-friendly commercial vehicles. Furthermore, it will also accelerate the brand's transformation from automaker to mobility provider.
The vehicles that will come out from this partnership are expected to be priced similar to internal-combustion engined counterparts. The platform can also be upgraded to meet various customer demands. Arrival even says that it could be fitted with self-driving systems.
At the moment, there is no word when these vehicles will hit the streets. However, Arrival already has pilot projects with multiple logistics companies in Europe using cargo vans manufactured with the technology.