UK electric vehicle startup Arrival picks Charlotte for its North American headquarters

Arrival, the U.K. electric vehicle startup that plans to become a publicly traded company through a merger with special purpose acquisition company CIIG Merger Corp., has picked Charlotte for its North American headquarters.

The company said it will add 150 new employees to support the headquarters and invest about $3 million in office space in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte. Arrival said it will be hiring for a variety of corporate positions, including human resources, marketing, finance and administrative professionals.

Arrival was a secretive electric vehicle startup for nearly five years until January when it announced a $110 million investment from Hyundai and Kia. Over the past year, the company has shared more of its plans and partners, all culminating in its announcement last month to merge with a SPAC, or shell company, to become a publicly traded company. The SPAC merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Arrival’s aim is to produce electric vehicles that are competitive in price with traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles and lower cost of ownership than other comparable EVs. Arrival says its modular electric “skateboard” platform, which can be used on a range of different vehicle types, along with its use of microfactories set up near major cities are how it will achieve its mission.

Arrival plans to produce commercial electric vehicles, beginning with van and bus models. The plan is to have four vehicles in the market by 2023, Arrival Automotive CEO Mike Ableson has previously said.

Arrival’s North American headquarters will be located less than 30 miles away from its first U.S. microfactory in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The company employs more than 1,200 people and has five engineering facilities and two microfactories globally.

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