Arrival: British electric van ‘trailblazer’ falls into administration

Image: Arrival Group

Arrival Group confirmed late on Monday (5 February) that administrators from EY have been assigned to both of its British subsidiaries, which are headquartered in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Some 200 jobs are at risk across nine UK sites.

Buyers are now being sought for Arrival’s vehicle platforms, which provide services to clients in sectors including logistics and delivery, public transport and ride-sharing. It is also seeking to sell off its software, intellectual property and research and development assets.

Arrival was one of several electric vehicle (EV) start-ups that went public during the pandemic. It was backed by Hyundai and valued at $15bn when it listed in 2021, having already secured the support of clients such as UPS and Kia.

But it has, over the past two years, faced financial challenges along with the rest of the sector, including high interest rates and inflation. Supply chain issues have also plagued the EV sector in recent years.

Arrival had already drastically decreased the size of its global workforce in an attempt to weather these challenges. It had also shifted its production focus to the US last year, delaying the delivery of vehicles in the European market.

This change of track signalled an end to a long-held ambition to manufacture EVs at a ‘microfactory’ in the UK.

Nasdaq delisted Arrival shares at the end of January 2024, citing the company’s failure to file annual accounts for 2022.

The news comes just months after electric truck startup Volta and its battery supplier Protera folded.

Supply chain consultancy Inverto, a subsidiary of Boston Consulting Group, is now warning of “severe supply-side bottlenecks” as demand for EVs from business fleets grow and while innovative new manufacturers face financial challenges.

Inverto has tracked a 52% year-on-year increase in the number of electric vans and lorries on UK roads for 2023. Nonetheless, electric models only account for 1% of the nation’s total stock.

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