The Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have made a 100 million euro ($111.65 million) investment in Arrival, a little-known U.K. based start-up specializing in electric vehicles.
According to Arrival, the investment values the company, which was established in 2015, at a staggering 3 billion euros. J.P. Morgan led the firm’s funding round and valuation.
In an announcement Thursday, it was explained that the new partnership would allow for the “co-development of eco-friendly vans and other products for logistics, on-demand ride-hailing, and shuttle service companies.”
Hyundai will invest 80 million euros, with Kia contributing 20 million.
Arrival develops materials, software and components, while its scalable electric platform “can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories,” according to Thursday’s announcement.
At the moment, the firm is undertaking pilot projects with logistics companies in Europe that use vans built with its technology.
“This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia,” Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer at the Hyundai Motor Group, said in a statement.
“We will accelerate investment and cooperation with companies with advanced technology such as Arrival, to respond to the rapidly changing eco-friendly vehicle market,” he added.
The last few years have seen several major automotive firms make significant plays in the electric vehicle sector.
In November, the Volkswagen Group officially started series production of its ID.3 electric car, with the German car maker planning to launch “almost 70 new electric models” on its platform by 2028.
Hyundai Motor Group has said it will launch 23 battery electric vehicles over the next few years, while Volvo Cars wants 50% of the cars it sells to be fully electric by 2025.
Worldwide electric car sales hit 1.98 million in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with global stock reaching 5.12 million.
2017 also saw more than one million sales according to the IEA, with the amount of electric cars on the road exceeding 3 million, a more than 50% increase compared to 2016.
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