Arrival Limited to set up e-vehicles "microfactory" in South Carolina
London-headquartered startup Arrival Limited has confirmed its selection of a site in Southeastern US state of South Carolina to set up a “microfactory” to build electric buses.
In an official press release, the British e-vehicle startup said its planned $46 million microfactory would be located in Rock Hill area of South Carolina. The term microfactory was used by the company to describe small, decentralized manufacturing facility where it plans to manufacture electric buses.
The startup has plans to set up several microfactories in various parts of the world, as it plans to use its comparatively smaller factories to tailor production to meet specific regional needs.
The new manufacturing facility is expected to generate 240 jobs in the area, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy. Generation of new jobs boosts local economies through tax revenue as well as use of local labor pools and supply chains. Use of a localized supply chain, confined to a comparatively smaller area, will also lower the general environmental brunt of vehicle manufacturing.
However, the startup didn’t provide any specific reasons behind its decision to locate its micro e-vehicle factory in South Carolina. But, the incumbent state government’s automaker-friendly policy road map is surely one of the reasons. Luxury car makers Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have also recently set up their factories in the Southern US state, state near Charleston.
Arrival will use its South Carolina factory to build electric vans, but the facility will initially be used to build buses. Earlier this year, the startup unveiled its e-buses, and said at the time that it would cost the same as the company’s comparable diesel bus. Production of the e-vehicles at the South Carolina microfactory is slated to commence in the final quarter of next year.
In February 2020, the British technology startup also announced a deal to supply ten thousand electric vans to UPS. Hyundai and Kia have jointly made an investment of $110 million in the company in the first month of this year.
With its revealed plans, the startup is apparently trying to compete for some of the same business won by Rivian, which is contracted by online retail giant Amazon to build 100,000 of the electric vans by the year of 2030. The production of the Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S sports utility vehicle (SUV) is slated to commence sometime next year.