With rapid growth in online shopping, the volume of light commercial vehicles in urban areas has increased, Hyundai said, adding the demand for eco-friendly commercial vehicles is expected to grow as the European Union tightens vehicle emission regulations from 2021.
"The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations," Albert Biermann, head of the auto group's research and development division, was quoted as saying. "Through the joint development of electric commercial vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, with Europe at the forefront."
Arrival, founded in 2015, has created Generation 2 Electric Vehicles as a new product category. "This strategic partnership will empower our companies to scale Generation 2 Electric Vehicles globally," said Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov.
Hyundai said it would use Arrival’s "skateboard" electric vehicle platform with a modular component structure, a cost-effective base that incorporates a battery pack, electric motors and driveline components.
Arrival's scalable platform can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types which Hyundai Motor and Kia will explore for the development of a range of purpose built vehicles (PBVs), which are a ground-based eco-friendly mobility solution that provides customized spaces and services for passengers in transit.
At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Hyundai unveiled its first electric air vehicle concept, S-A1, through collaboration with Uber, the world’s largest mobility company, and presented its innovative vision for urban mobility solutions including PBV.
"This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia. We will accelerate investment and cooperation with companies with advanced technology such as Arrival, to respond to the rapidly changing eco-friendly vehicle market," said Hyundai's chief innovation officer Chi Young-cho.
The partnership enables Hyundai to accelerate its two-track strategy to deliver battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions for the European commercial vehicle market, Hyundai said.
In May 2019, Hyundai made a $90 million investment in Rimac Automobili, a technology powerhouse based in Croatia, to develop prototypes for an electric sports concept car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle. Four months later, the group invested in IONITY, Europe’s largest high-power electric vehicle charging network.
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