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Arrival to set up its first U.S. EV factory in South Carolina

Arrival to set up its first U.S. EV factory in South Carolina

Arrival, a London based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, has reportedly announced that it would be building its first U.S-based micro factory in York County of South Carolina. The company plans to initiate production operations at the facility during the second quarter of 2021, with the actual manufacturing starting from the fourth quarter of the same year.

Annually, over 1,000 electric buses will be manufactured at the facility, as per reports. However, if the supposed term ‘micro-factory’ hints at a relatively small production facility, he 1,000 electric buses capacity is likely to be the limit. 

According to reliable sources, the EV manufacturer plans to hire 240 individuals when it opens the facility. The company has invested an approximate amount of $46 million towards the establishment of the new factory. Compared to the sums that are invested in traditional commercial vehicle facilities, Arrival’s investment is considered a relatively manageable figure.

The South Carolina EV plant will be manufacturing a battery-operated electric bus that would feature an interior design that is akin to that of a subway. The company had showcased the concept back in June 2020. Arrival claims that owing to the much simpler assembly processes, low-cost materials, and more importantly, lighter and smaller batteries, the electric bus will have a manufacturing cost that if far lower than that of existing battery powered buses.

The proposed micro-factory concept was made feasible by Arrival’s manufacturing method: The vehicle’s body is manufactured in such a way that the welding work, which is typically done with the help of expensive production robots, is no longer required. Likewise, there is also no need for a painting line as the company produces panels of outer skin using a special combination of a low-cost thermoplastic with a composite material. The process is similar to that used in the e.GO Life vehicles, where the plastic is colored instead of the body.

The Coordination Council for Economic Development will approve credits for the Arrival project, as it would be creating new jobs in the region.

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