There is a growing demand for electric buses all around the world. Buses running on batteries means there are fewer pollutants in the air. Many companies are trying to establish themselves in this sector. Most of them are Chinese giants like BYD. A startup in the United Kingdom is building its own electric buses from scratch.
Arrival inches closer to capturing the market
Arrival is the company making rounds in the mass mobility sector for its clean and sustainable solutions. Arrival has completely transformed the manufacturing process of these buses. This is the first major change in the manufacturing of automobiles since Henry Ford started the production line in 1920 for the Model T. Dennis Sverdlov is the founder and CEO of the electric vehicle startup. He started the company in 2015.
The company has introduced a concept known as Micro factories. These factories are polar opposites of the traditional vehicle factories that came before. In these factories, buses are completed from start to finish at the same spot and not moved along the line. The parts required to build the bus are transported using robots to the manufacturing station. The factories are built upon principles of Industry 4.0. Arrival has greatly automated their factories. The factory incorporates various sensors, machine learning, artificial intelligence tools, robots, computer vision, etc. to produce their buses.
The buses themselves are spectacular. They are very wide with a lot of room for passengers on both sides. Their length can be adjusted according to the customer. This is possible as the bus has a modular design. To increase or decrease the length of the bus, one can just add or remove a module. Arrival buses have large windows for the driver as well as the passengers. This increases the feeling of spaciousness of the passengers and they don’t get claustrophobic. For the driver, the bus provides a wide view of the road ahead.
Electric buses are the future and Arrival is paving a way to reach that future. The design of its buses is all-inclusive. Meaning people of all nature can be comfortable on the bus. For example, the seats of the bus have a unique design to help the cleaners work easier. The buses are wheelchair accessible and provide comfortable seating for the disabled. There is a lot of space to stand on the bus for passengers who can’t find a seat. The bus has a modular interior just like the exterior.
Arrival will commence trial production in late 2021. The bus will have a capacity of 80 to 125 passengers. The range of the bus is in the range of 150 miles to 250 miles. This range is sufficient for city buses which can charge at stops after their shift is over. First Group, a UK firm will start trials of the electric bus in early 2022.
The company has received a lot of funding from companies like Kia and Hyundai. This has given the company a global footprint. It has also enabled Hyundai and Kia to use Arrival technology to electrify their fleets. The company faces steep competition in the United Kingdom from ADL. ADL is a group that has a contract of selling BYD buses in the UK. It will be interesting to see how things unfold.
Along with the bus, Arrival is planning other vehicles as well. Arrival is expanding into the delivery and logistics sector. It will soon add delivery vans to its product catalog. These vans will provide a solution to the logistics problems of companies like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and many more. Last-mile deliveries are the last stages of the delivery process. In this step, the product is delivered to the customer. This process is often costly and labor-intensive. It also has a huge carbon footprint. Arrival vans will provide a more sustainable way to deliver products to customers.
Arrival vans have a high ceiling and contain a lot of storage. Unlike any other van, the driver can access the storage unit at the back of the van from the front end while delivering packages. The van includes all kinds of storage spaces for packages of all sizes.
What we know about specs…
There are two types of Arrival vans; one slightly smaller than the other. The smaller van offers a payload of 2000 kilograms with a maximum range of 211 miles depending on the battery size. The larger one offers a capacity of 4000 kilograms and a range of up to 250 miles. The company has not yet decided on the battery specifications. LG Green solutions will likely be given the contract to produce cylindrical Li-ion batteries. The vans will be able to charge up to 80% capacity in less than 40 minutes using DC fast charging technology.
Arrival has delivered nine prototypes to the Royal Mail to drive around the United Kingdom. The final product will look like the vans given for testing. Arrival has also given 35 prototypes to UPS to test all around Europe. The company has made a deal with UPS for the delivery of 10,000 vans after production begins. Production will likely begin in late 2022.
Cars for ride sharing
Arrival has many more plans for itself. It is certain that car-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will be big players in the mobility sector in the upcoming decades. It has plans to expand in the market with its own car. The company emphasized the need for the comfort of the driver and durability of the car. The average vehicle used by Uber and Lyft drives around 30,000 miles a year, much more than the regular vehicle. Instead of being a rival, Arrival established a partnership with the ride-hail giant Uber in May 2021. The parameters of the partnership are not yet public but something interesting is brewing.
Expert designers and engineers are working to finalize the design and structure of the vehicle for maximum comfort and efficiency. Arrival gave an estimate about the range of the vehicle. It said that the range will likely be around 200 miles. Arrival is the new kid on the block with immense potential for future success. This company is breaking barriers. It will provide perspective about the future of electric mobility.