Thursday 16 January 2020 6:00 am

Hyundai and Kia inject €100m in London electric vehicle scaleup

Car making giants Hyundai and Kia will today reveal a €100m (£85.6m) in London-headquartered electric vehicle firm Arrival.

The move will mark the beginning of a strategic partnership between the trio which will see Hyundai and Kia use the scaleup’s technology to develop mobility solutions and electrify their vehicles.

Arrival, which has more than 800 employees in five countries, has not publicly raised funds before today. The firm said the injection makes it one of the UK’s largest unicorns, but declined to give further details on its investor base or valuation.

The three firms will use Arrival’s flexible skateboard platforms and technologies to create a number of new purpose-built electric vehicles in a variety of models.

Arrival chief strategy officer Avinash Rugoobur said: “We are excited to come out of stealth mode with our partnership with Hyundai Motor Group, and 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.”

The commercial vehicle market is the immediate focus for the scaleup, which has seen the largest increase in usage with more than 90 per cent of its vehicles being diesel-fuelled.

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

“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.”

It is one of the biggest investments in the British automotive industry in recent years, after investment dropped sharply in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote.

Since then, economic uncertainty has caused international investors to delay or divert funding elsewhere, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The partnership is the latest in a string of deals involving established car makers and tech startups, as the automotive giants look to plug holes in their development.

In a similar deal in the US last year, Ford joined forces with electric pick-up truck startup Rivian to produce a new vehicle. That came alongside a $500m investment.

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