Arrival, the electric bus and vehicle manufacturer that’s been making waves since it went public in March, announced on Monday that it plans to partner with Uber to create a completely electric ride-hailing car.
A UK-based startup perhaps best known for its desire to disrupt the traditional assembly line models in auto manufacturing in favour of automated microfactories, Arrival announced in a joint statement with Uber that the vehicle — known as the “Arrival Car” will be an “affordable, purpose-built electric vehicle for ride-hailing,” and will go into production in the fourth quarter of 2023.
While the car won’t be exclusive to Uber, the partnership is a strategic one: Uber has previously announced its intention to be a fully electric platform in London by 2025, with plans to expand that reach across North America and Europe by 2030. It’s also a prominent and public endorsement of Arrival, which saw share prices sink after it made its publicly traded debut in March after merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
“We have a great partnership with UPS … and we hope to replicate that success with Uber as we develop the best possible product for ride hailing,” Arrival Senior Vice President Tom Elvidge, formerly a manager at Uber, said in a statement.
While the future vehicle’s engineering still seems to be in the fact-finding stage — no cars have been produced yet — Uber has already set aside a sizable chunk of change ($US188 ($242) million) dedicated to helping its London drivers make the switch to electric vehicles by 2025. The newly-announced partnership with Arrival, according to company officials, will eventually help to streamline that process.
“Our focus is now on encouraging drivers to use this money to help them upgrade to an electric vehicle, and our partnership with Arrival will help us achieve this goal,” Jamie Heywood, Uber regional manager for northern and eastern Europe, said in a statement.