Some companies garner attention for going big by building gigafactories. But Arrival is turning heads for taking a different tack: constructing microfactories. The company announced today that it will build a microfactory, located in North Carolina, where it will produce about 10,000 electric delivery vans annually. The microfactory is expected to begin production in the third quarter of 2022 and will represent an investment of about $41.2 million. In addition, management says that many of the vans that roll off the assembly line at the North Carolina microfactory will be delivered to UPS consistent with its commitment to purchase 10,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Europe.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the newest microfactory, Michael Ableson, Arrival Automotive's CEO, stated that the company's "newest Microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV Vans for our US customers, expanding the zero-emissions options for fleet operators and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles." Based in the UK, Arrival is an EV manufacturer specializing in buses and vans that expects to merge with the special purpose acquisition company, CIIG Merger (CIIC), by the end of March.
The microfactory to be built in North Carolina is the second of its type that Arrival expects to build in the region. This past October, Arrival announced its plan to build a microfactory in South Carolina where it will initially commit to assembling electric buses. Management expects operations to begin at the facility in the second quarter of 2021 and production to start several months later in the fourth quarter.
According to Arrival, "The Microfactory design is key to Arrival's approach to bringing down the cost of electric vehicles to accelerate mass adoption."