Arrival Announces New Microfactory Producing Electric Delivery Vans in Charlotte
Cory Burkarth
Arrival Microfactory

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 17, 2021) – Arrival, the global company creating electric vehicles ("EVs") using its game-changing technologies, announced Wednesday that it will be building its second US Microfactory in Charlotte, North Carolina. This Microfactory will produce electric delivery vans, and is expected to bring more than 250 new jobs to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The Microfactory is expected to begin production by Q3 2022.

Arrival, founded in 2015, with North American Headquarters in Charlotte, is accelerating the transition to zero-emission commercial vehicles by creating best in class products that are comparable in price with fossil fuel equivalents, offering a substantially lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for operators. The new Microfactory in Charlotte exemplifies this approach, bringing to the region fully electric Vans that excel across both payload and cargo volume.

Arrival’s ability to create vehicles with a competitive price point to fossil fuel equivalents and lower Total Cost of Ownership, stems from their pioneering new method of design and production. Arrival’s vertically integrated approach uses in-house developed hardware and software and combines it with assembly in Microfactories. The Microfactories are low CapEx, have a smaller footprint than conventional factories, have the ability to create significant unit economics and can be placed all over the world to serve local communities, bolstering local communities and economies.

The new Microfactory will be located in West Charlotte, North Carolina, near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, at Meadow Oak Commerce Center. Arrival is investing approximately $41.2 million in the modern production center that can assemble up to 10,000 electric delivery vans each year. Last fall, Arrival announced it would be opening a Microfactory facility for its electric buses in Rock Hill, SC and in December 2020, announced it would establish its North American headquarters in South End, creating over 650 jobs in the Charlotte region. 

"Arrival is excited to expand its presence in Charlotte and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in contributing to the local community and bringing onboard the region’s local talent. Our newest Microfactory will be producing two different classes of EV Vans for our US customers, expanding the zero-emissions options for fleet operators and accelerating the mass adoption of electric vehicles. We are pleased to increase our investment as we extend our partnership with the City of Charlotte and believe we will continue to see strong demand for our vehicles as more operators transition to electric," said Michael Ableson, CEO, Arrival Automotive.

Many of the vehicles produced at the Charlotte Microfactory are expected to enter UPS’s North American fleet as part of its commitment to purchase up to 10,000 vehicles from Arrival in the US and Europe.

"We’re excited by this significant milestone that will enable UPS to economically deploy electric vehicles throughout our global operations at an increasing pace," said Luke Wake, vice president of maintenance and engineering, UPS Corporate Automotive. "At UPS, we’re laser focused on finding operational efficiencies. Establishing factories that can quickly serve both the European and North American markets is a masterful use of logistics. We can’t wait to see UPS’s new electric vehicles roll out of this factory as this is also one of many paths UPS is taking to reduce its CO2 emissions."

In the short few months since Arrival came to Charlotte, the company has forged strong partnerships with the City and community leaders in clean energy. In December, the City of Charlotte and Arrival unveiled a signed memorandum of understanding that demonstrates their shared vision, guiding principles, and goals to improve sustainability efforts and reduce greenhouse emissions. This MOU builds on the City of Charlotte’s Strategic Energy Action Plan that outlines strategies for clean energy focused on transportation, buildings, energy generation, and workforce development/equity. 

"We are so excited to see that Arrival is already expanding in Charlotte. Their decision to locate their Microfactory in West Charlotte will have a major impact on our residents, bringing new, well-paying career opportunities to the neighborhood, in a high-tech environment that is rooted in sustainability," said Mayor Vi Lyles. "These are the jobs of the future and we couldn’t be happier they choose to bring these opportunities to our residents."

On Thursday, March 18 at 10:00a.m ET, Arrival, along with Alisyn Malek, Executive Director at the Commission for the Future of Mobility, and Janet Labar, President and CEO at Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, will host a LinkedIn Live event to discuss the significance of this latest announcement. Members of the media and the public are encouraged to watch and engage by visiting Arrival’s LinkedIn company page.

The project was a collaborative effort between the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Commerce, University of North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Where we want to go as a city, I see that in Arrival. I'm so excited to see how these two disruptors, these two pioneers can
come together and really create this change.
Hi, I'm Vi Lyles and I'm Mayor of the great City of Charlotte, North Carolina. When I was a child growing up, the idea of a clean
community wasn't even on anyone's radar. We built lots of highways, we spent millions of dollars and today we wrestle with
that. I want a city where everyone from all walks of life can afford to live. Have the ability to get from home to work and still
have a quality of life that's necessary for their own self fulfilment. That sense of community that's grounded in housing, good
work and the way to move around.
I'm Mike, I lead Arrival Automotive, that's the division within Arrival that's responsible for the sales and manufacturing of our
Arrival vehicles all over the world. As we work in partnership with the City of Charlotte to develop these new solutions,
I think it's really important that a variety of stakeholders are involved. Certainly that includes elected public officials, it
includes the people that work in City Government and in the City Transit Authority, and then certainly it must be supported by
private companies as well.
So my name is Taiwo Jaiyeoba, I'm the City's Planning Director. I provide leadership support to the Charlotte area transit system.
About two years or so ago, our City Council adopted a strategic energy action plan that says that our city will be carbon neutral
by 2050. At the core it should be how are we serving the people who need it the most? Everyone should have the benefit of being
able to use it to take them to work, to get them to the doctor or even from housing to school. Personally, for me, that's why I'm
passionate about equity in transportation. Arrival has definitely taken a huge step in that direction.
We want to make sure everyone in the City has access to transportation, and we do that in a very equitable way. So we can
use data from our vehicles with the City to improve the transit system inside of the City. If you have a transit bus that is not
connected, you don't know exactly how many people are riding it, how many people are getting on and off at each stop. That's all
data that we can collect through our vehicles and then upload into the cloud for later analysis and use by the City transit
officials as they look how to improve and better optimize the transit network.
So my name is Fran West, I am the Assistant Director for the Economic Development Department in the City of Charlotte. When I
think about Arrival and I think about the City they have a lot in common from they're both progressive. What Arrival will do to
build their vehicles both in the City and in our region, it changes the perception of transportation.
Charlotte is where we're starting and so it's so important to us how supportive the City has been, as we've entered into these
conversations, because obviously everything we learn working with Charlotte we're going to be able to take forward as we work with
other cities around the country.
My name is Eileen Cai, I'm a Vice President of Business Recruitment at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. I think
the Charlotte-Arrival partnership can be a catalyst for achieving the City and region's sustainability, mobility, connectivity
goals. Arrival can be part of that force.
They are not only thinking about the vision for a cleaner community, they care about jobs and the people that work there.
The manufacturing sector employs 150,000 jobs in the Charlotte region. So manufacturing is very important to us and the fact
that Arrival is really tapped into region strengths in automotive parts, advanced materials, I think that's something very exciting.
We have this idea of distributed manufacturing, so our Microfactories are there in the community. We have Arrival
employees, that are an integral part of the community. We have a self interest in making the communities where our employees live
and work better.
I'm Sarah Hazel, Chief Sustainability and Resiliency Officer for the City of Charlotte. As we continue to grow, and we're a
growing city, our issue with carbon emissions only becomes compounded. Shared goals around sustainability I think made
Arrival and Charlotte a perfect match. About 40% of Charlotte's emissions are from transportation alone and so if we can really
start to aggressively tackle that piece of the pie, I think we will be laying a foundation for a lower carbon future. Being able
to partner with a company that is in this space that's innovating, that is also looking to continue to innovate and to
embrace technology, is so critical because we can't do what we're setting out to do without those types of partners really pushing the envelope.
It's not too late to make a really big difference.
We know that our future is really about a clean environment.
I believe intensely that we can help people.
We need to get at this, we need to start improving that experience
to build a future.
We take things head on. We all challenge the status quo.
Cities really have to step up.
We want to be a city of today but we also want to be a city that plans for the future generations to come.
We're here to create change and leave this place better than we found it.