Hyundai and Kia join forces to develop electric commercial vehicles

South Korea’s two largest vehicle manufacturers, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation, have come together to announce a joint strategic partnership with UK-based electric vehicle (EV) start-up Arrival.

Hyundai and Kia will invest €100 million ($AUD 160 million) into Arrival, who have developed a scalable electric platform capable of taking on the mould of numerous different commercial vehicle variants including those designed for logistics, ridesharing and shuttle services.

Through the partnership, Hyundai will invest €80 million ($AUD 129 million) into Arrival, while Kia will contribute a further €20 million ($AU 31 million).

Arrival intend to use their platform to build commercial EVs at a similar cost to traditional fossil fuel counterparts. To keep costs as low as possible, the company will use microfactories located near major cities for manufacturing, keeping transport and logistics costs to a minimum.

Through the partnership, Hyundai and Kia will make use of Arrival’s scalable platform technology to produce and introduce small and medium size commercial EVs to the expanding European market. With both brands looking to transition from car manufacturers to clean-mobility providers, the platform will also allow Hyundai and Kia to experiment with ideas for Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV).

With tightening environmental regulations soon to be implemented in Europe, Hyundai’s Head of Research and Development, Albert Biermann, believes the partnership will see Hyundai lead the way in introducing a new wave of environmentally friendly commercial vehicle options.

“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.”

From 2021, Co2 emissions for car manufacturers in Europe will be limited from the current 130g/km to 95g/km, a reduction of approximately 27 percent.

With 800 employees across five countries, investments from Hyundai and Kia make Arrival one of the UK’s most valuable startups, with an estimated value of €3 billion ($AUD 4.8 billion).

Original source: prnasia | Hyundai and Kia make strategic investment in Arrival to co-develop electric commercial vehicles

17 Jan 2020

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