Arrival is a UK-based electric vehicle startup whose goal is to produce EVs whose cost is comparable to that of current equivalent ICE vehicles. The company is currently working on a BEV bus, a car aimed at ride hailing services and the vehicle presented in this video, the fully-electric cargo van.
Rory Reid got a chance to drive a prototype for Fifth Gear and while it was not perfect, he was still impressed. It doesn’t quite set a new standard for commercial vehicles, as Arrival claims, but it’s still very impressive, especially since the prototype that Rory drove was far from finished - he even got an error when the vehicle would not allow him to shift into drive and it required a reset.
What sets the van apart from others (electric or otherwise) is its excellent cargo volume and just the space inside, which comes courtesy of not having an internal combustion engine taking up chassis space. Probably the biggest difference between the Arrival van and others is the way it is built.
Arrival has opted not to build big factories and is instead opting for mini factories that no longer have a traditional production line. Instead of rolling a vehicle through different stations where more bits get bolted to it, Arrival will build each vehicle in a booth filled with robotic arms that can perform more than one function - the company won’t paint its vehicles, so a paint booth is not required.
Things are looking quite promising for Arrival, and its most recent valuation reflects that, however, the electric van’s specs aren’t necessarily better than what Ford has announced for the eTransit van it plans to launch this year. We’ll have to wait and see how it performs in the real world before we cast judgment on it.