UK electric van startup Arrival to build North Carolina "microfactory"
By Nick Carey
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - British electric van and bus startup Arrival said on Wednesday that it will build a new plant in North Carolina and much of its production will go to fulfilling an order from package delivery company UPS UPS. for up to 10,000 vehicles.
Arrival's "microfactory" in Charlotte will be the startup's second U.S. plant and is due to launch production in the third quarter of 2022. Last October, Arrival announced plans for a plant in South Carolina.
Arrival plans a series of small plants - which it dubs "microfactories" - that will take up far less space and require lower investments than conventional vehicle factories that will not include expensive paint shops or welding equipment, which also require a lot of space. The company also has a plant in England.
Arrival will invest around $41.2 million in the Charlotte plant, which will be able to assemble up to 10,000 electric delivery vans annually and create more than 250 jobs.
The van and bus maker will go public later this month via a merger with CIIG Merger Corp CIIC.O, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). nL1N2I416G
Feverish investor interest in finding the next Tesla Inc TSLA.O and bringing them to market via SPACs has included commercial EV startups like Canoo Inc GOEV.O and Arrival.
Tightening CO2 emissions targets in Europe and China have combined with improving battery technology to provide greater range at lower costs, giving commercial electric vehicles (EVs) their moment in the sun after years of waiting. nL2N2KZ2XY
The coronavirus pandemic has also boosted the need for vans to deliver goods to consumers at home. nL1N2FZ1AZ
Ford Motor Co F.N said on Tuesday the next version of its Transit van for the European market will go into production in Turkey in 2023 and include fully electric and hybrid variants along with the combustion-engined version. nL1N2LE0PU
(Reporting By Nick Carey; editing by David Evans)
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