Uber is working with Arrival, a six-year-old London-based startup that focuses on electric vehicles, to develop an electric car dedicated to ridesharing. The car is scheduled for mass production and release by late 2023, but it will be made available to organizations other than Uber as well. Arrival has used its technology primarily in the commercial transportation industry, but it is now looking to apply that model to the individual consumer market.
“We are confident that electrifying ride-hailing vehicles will have an outsized impact on cities, and we are keen to support drivers as they manage this transition,” Tom Elvidge, SVP Arrival Mobility UK, said in the official press release. “Arrival Car will be designed around drivers’ needs to create a vehicle that is affordable, durable and desirable.”
This past February, the company was valued at $5.4 billion after its merger with CIIG Merger Corp, a SPAC (“special-purpose acquisition company”) set up by former CEO and Vice Chairman of Marvel Entertainment, Peter Cuneo. In early 2020, United Parcel Service became an investor in Arrival and agreed to purchase as many as 10,000 Arrival electric delivery vans for its fleet. Estimates of the deal put it at a worth of approximately $500 million.
“We have a great partnership with UPS to create a best-in-class electric delivery vehicle,” Elvidge noted. “And we hope to replicate that success with Uber as we develop the best possible product for ride hailing that elevates the experience of the passenger and improves drivers’ health, safety, and finances.”
Uber plans to be a zero-emission company across North America and Canada by 2030, but it is also gearing aggressively to achieve that same objective for “The Big Smoke” within the next four years. “As our cities open up, we have an opportunity to make sure that urban transport is cleaner than ever before,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe. “Uber is committed to helping every driver in London upgrade to an EV by 2025, and thanks to our Clean Air Plan, more than £135m has been raised to support this ambition. Our focus is now on encouraging drivers to use this money to help them upgrade to an electric vehicle, and our partnership with Arrival will help us achieve this goal.”