Arrival will invest approximately $41.2 million build its second U.S. microfactory in Charlotte, NC. The global electric vehicle (EV) company’s new production center will be able to assemble up to 10,000 electric delivery vans each year and is expected to bring more than 250 new jobs to the region.
In December 2020, the company announced it would establish its North American headquarters in Charlotte’s South End. Last fall, Arrival announced it would open a microfactory facility for its electric buses in Rock Hill, SC.
Arrival’s vertically integrated approach to design and production uses in-house developed hardware and software and combines it with assembly in microfactories. The microfactories are low capital expenditure, have a smaller footprint than conventional factories, have the ability to create significant unit economics and can be placed all over the world to serve local communities. This newest microfactory will be located near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, at Meadow Oak Commerce Center.
“Arrival is excited to expand its presence in Charlotte and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in contributing to the local community and bringing onboard the region’s local talent,” said Michael Ableson, chief executive officer of Arrival Automotive. “Our newest microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV vans for our U.S. customers, expanding the zero-emissions options for fleet operators and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles.”
Many of the vehicles produced at the Charlotte microfactory are expected to enter UPS’s North American fleet as part of its commitment to purchase up to 10,000 vehicles from Arrival in the U.S. and Europe.
“We’re excited by this significant milestone that will enable UPS to economically deploy electric vehicles throughout our global operations at an increasing pace,” said Luke Wake, vice president of maintenance and engineering, UPS Corporate Automotive. “At UPS, we’re laser focused on finding operational efficiencies. Establishing factories that can quickly serve both the European and North American markets is a masterful use of logistics.”
Arrival has forged strong partnerships with city and community leaders in clean energy. In December, the City of Charlotte and Arrival unveiled a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) that demonstrates their shared vision, guiding principles, and goals to improve sustainability efforts and reduce greenhouse emissions. This MOU builds on the City of Charlotte’s Strategic Energy Action Plan that outlines strategies for clean energy focused on transportation, buildings, energy generation, and workforce development/equity.
“We are so excited to see that Arrival is already expanding in Charlotte. Their decision to locate their microfactory in West Charlotte will have a major impact on our residents, bringing new, well-paying career opportunities to the neighborhood, in a high-tech environment that is rooted in sustainability,” said Mayor Vi Lyles. “These are the jobs of the future and we couldn’t be happier they choose to bring these opportunities to our residents.”
“The company’s commitment to create more clean energy jobs demonstrates their confidence in North Carolina’s talented and resilient work force and commitment to a clean energy future,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
“Arrival’s microfactory expansion forecasts a bright future for North Carolina’s clean energy economy,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Their decision to manufacture electric vans in North Carolina is a signal to other global innovators that we have a skilled pipeline of talent, surrounded by a strong research and development ecosystem and a steady business climate, to support their growth plans.”
“Arrival’s selection of North Carolina for this facility producing electric delivery vans – and earlier for its North American headquarters – pushes the state toward the forefront of electric vehicle production and an international trend of high-tech, smaller-footprint microfactories,” said Ellen Tai, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina recruiter who pursued the project in the state’s behalf. “This can only help the state attract similar companies in the future that, like Arrival, will also find our central East Coast location and strong transportation logistics, advanced manufacturing workforce, and ecosystem of innovation to be the ultimate combination for long-term success.”
The project was a collaborative effort between the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Commerce, University of North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
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