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Kia and Hyundai invest £85m in Arrival for electric-vehicle development

Korean carmaker takes big stake in UK-based commercial-vehicle company to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Britain and beyond

Arrival Royal Mail concept

Kia and Hyundai have announced a €100 million (£85 million) investment in UK-based electric-vehicle company Arrival, to help accelerate the adoption of electric commercial vehicles worldwide.

The partnership will see Kia and Hyundai use Arrival’s ‘skateboard’ platform – a base that can take multiple body shapes and different forms – to create new, purpose-built electric vehicles. In return, Arrival will benefit from Hyundai and Kia’s global reach and economies of scale.

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The news comes just days after Kia announced its ‘Plan S’ – a proposal that'll see it build 11 new electric vehicles by 2025.

Hyundai’s president and head of research and development, Albert Biermann, said: “The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to reinforcement of environmental regulations. 

“Through the joint development, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market.”

Arrival claims its electric vans are priced “the same, or less than” internal-combustion-engined vehicles. Currently, over 90% of commercial vehicles in the UK are diesel-powered, but their predictable usage patterns – and ability to charge overnight – mean that light vans and trucks are perfect candidates for electric propulsion.

Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s chief strategy officer, said: “Our complementary expertise will allow us to rapidly design, build and roll out vehicles together. Accelerating electric vehicle adoption is good for everyone – for people, business and the planet – and we are pleased to undertake this mission with our partners Hyundai and Kia”.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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