Commercial EV startup Arrival has built the first production verification Van prototype at its Bicester microfactory in the UK.
In a September 30 press release, Arrival said it produced the first Van in its microfactory using in-house technologies, including composite materials, autonomous mobile robots, in-house components and a software defined factory.
This is a big moment for the company as it represents a stepping stone towards at-scale production and delivering vehicles to its customers.
“Today is an important day for Arrival. This is the first time a vehicle has ever been built in our Microfactory, using a new method that does not use a traditional assembly line. Although we have not yet achieved serial production, we are focused on making it happen. We will continue to produce vehicles in our Microfactory in order to master at-scale production.”
Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO at Arrival
Sverdlov added that building the first Arrival Van in its microfactory has been more difficult that the team had initially imagined.
The company says the Arrival Vans that will be produced this year in its first microfactory in Bicester, UK, will not be sold to customers; instead, they will be used for continued testing, validation and quality control. Arrival will provide further information on its Q3 earnings webinar scheduled on November 8, 2022.
In August, the EV startup said it had to make a tough choice in order to ensure its survival by focusing on bringing the Van project into production first and putting the Bus and Car projects on hold until it will have raised more capital.
The company also said it planned to build only 20 Vans in 2022—a dramatic decrease from the original production forecast of 400 to 600 vehicles for this year—and start deliveries to UPS before the end of the year. The reason for the low production forecast is the slow ramp expected in Bicester to ensure the vehicles produced meet quality targets.
Arrival said it had non-binding orders for about 149,000 vehicles as of June 30, 2022, which, if all completed, would bring over $6 billion in potential revenue.