Arrival unveils updated van; could eventually open sales in India

The Arrival Van has received a massive upgrade with a completely redesigned exterior as seen in these images uploaded on the company’s Twitter page. Arrival says that this is the Beta version and that it will allow introducing derivatives for multiple applications rapidly.

New Arrival Van

While the old Arrival Van looked like an ice cream wagon, the new version has more pleasing aesthetics. The company has extended the front fascia that leads to a sloping windshield and A-pillar instead of upright ones, and this has resulted in not only increased visibility but improved safety. There’s also the additional advantage of enhanced aerodynamics that should improve the range, provided the vehicle’s weight is still in check.

New Arrival Van Beta prototype side profile
The new Arrival Van is the Beta version prototype and features a more aerodynamic design than the old version.

Image Source: twitter.com

The new Arrival Van likely has clear turn indicators and virtual rearview outside rearview mirrors operated via high-mounted cameras on the sides. Its roof is flat and doesn’t have rounded edges like that of the previous iteration. Lastly, the touch-operated sliding door opener seems to have been sacrificed in favour of a more cost-effective, physical sliding door opener.

Old Van

In July YouTube channel fullychargedshow put up a video giving the first close look at the Arrival Van. The video featured an early prototype of the electric van built for UPS. Robert Llewellyn, the popular host, was impressed with the easy ingress and egress, excellent visibility and the spaciousness of the cabin. UPS has ordered 10,000 vehicles from Arrival, and its order will be fulfilled by end of 2024. It also has an undisclosed amount of investment in the UK-based start-up.

Video Source: youtube.com/fullychargedshow

The old Arrival Van is 2.7 metres tall, built for walking in and out, and basically optimised in every innovative way possible for delivery operations. The company’s Chief of Product Patrick Bion said that the company will soon move to cargo vans of different heights and lengths, and then passenger vans. Sharing his impression of the progress of EVs in the commercial space, he said that a few years ago companies used to buy EVs to show their commitment to eco-friendliness but now they understand the considerable benefits EVs provide and that’s become the new selling point.

Arrival Bus

In June, Arrival had unveiled a zero-emission electric bus that it believes will transform the public transport industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the commuters fear the public transport system and the Bus has been designed to offer a passenger experience with a focus on space, cleanliness and well-being. Kwame Nyanning, Chief of Experience, said that the company is working with cities to make every touchpoint in the urban transportation ecosystem better and more sustainable.

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Introducing the zero-emission Arrival Bus

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The Arrival Bus will be made in local Microfactories that are designed to assemble all vehicles from the company’s range. Arrival is planning to open 1000 of these Microfactories worldwide by 2026. The British startup hasn’t revealed product specifications or the features of the bus but it will be priced the same as its fossil fuel counterpart.

Production

In March, according to a report on PESMedia.com, Arrival moved into a new plant in Bicester, Oxfordshire in the UK. The facility has a floor space of 120,000+ square feet and will manufacture vehicles for the European market. Interestingly Arrival has not purchased the facility and is operating on a lease. Production is to start at the facility in 2021.

Arrival plans to build ‘micro-factories’ near Los Angeles and New York that will deliver purpose-built vehicles suiting the needs of the local market, including the 10,000 UPS delivery vans. The company is based out of London and has offices in the UK, Germany, USA, Netherlands, Russia and Israel.

Arrival India entry

Arrival could be opening shop in India to sell its commercial electric van as part of its larger ambition to make electric vehicles mainstream. In January, the startup company secured a €100M investment from Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation.

Though there are no firm plans at the moment, India could offer great potential for companies like Arrival to come in and take the market early on. ElectricVehicleWeb.in reached out to Arrival regarding their plans for India and we were told that they have a flexible mode of manufacturing to easily enter a new market and they would consider entering the country in the long-term:

We have an exceptionally flexible and rapidly deployed mode of manufacture so that we can easily enter new markets. Additionally our ambition is to make electric vehicles mainstream for the masses which means entering as many markets as possible with solutions that match that market’s exact requirements.

An Arrival spokesperson responding to ElectricVehicleWeb in February on the possibilities of an Indian launch.

Arrival’s idea is to create a new product category that will overcome barriers generally associated with electric vehicles – cost, design and efficiency. The company is aiming to produce Generation 2.0 electric vehicles for the same price as petrol and diesel counterparts. Arrival’s autonomous ready platform has been built ground-up and is light and modular. Looking to go into full-scale production in 2021 in the commercial vehicle segment, the electric vans are supposed to have a range of up to 300 miles and a 50% reduced cost of ownership.

The investment from Hyundai and Kia will be used to accelerate the global adoption of electric vehicles in the commercial segment. Hyundai and Kia will use Arrival’s technologies and its skateboard platform to develop purpose-built electric vehicles (PBVs) in several categories. The partnership will also use Arrival’s micro-factories that are located in areas of demand for the development of the new vehicles.

The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the reinforcement of environmental regulations. Through the joint development of commercial electric vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market.

Albert Biermann, President & Head of Research and Development Division, Hyundai Motor Group

Arrival is undergoing trials with several companies in addition to UPS, including DHL and Royal Mail and will be using Blackberry’s QNX SDP 7.0 operating system in the development of its autonomous-ready commercial vehicle platform.

Specific to India, Hyundai is working on the ‘Smart Electric Vehicle’ project that will result in the launch of electric vehicles in the Indian market at a price of below Rs. 10 lakh in 2023, starting with a compact SUV. The low-cost electric cars are not related to Hyundai’s partnership with Canoo or the investment in Arrival Ltd.