The concept behind Google’s Arrival electric bus production facility is not new, but the concept is new to the U.S., where Arrival will begin production in 2021. The company was founded in 2015 in Rock Hill, South Carolina by entrepreneur Alexander Sverdlov, who made an undisclosed fortune in 2012 through the sale of a Russian cell phone company called Yota. The company hopes to be the leading electric vehicle provider. It claims that its commercial vans will cost the same as conventional models, and its electric transit buses will be cheaper than those of the industry’s heavyweights.
While this concept may seem like science fiction, it is very real. The company plans to use microfactories in standard warehouses and multibillion dollar auto plants to manufacture Arrival’s cars. The vehicles are made out of lightweight materials, such as aluminum, and proprietary composite materials that have been developed in-house. The cost of manufacturing the cars is very low, and the company’s new approach allows it to make each car on a shoestring budget.
The company also plans to build its own electric vehicle microfactories. The company has received $118 million from BlackRock to build the electric delivery vans that UPS has been looking for. The company has announced plans to build its first U.S. microfactory in South Carolina, and the company’s first European production plant will open in 2021. It will use this new microfactory to produce its vehicles and will also produce its vehicles in Europe.