The UK-based electric-vehicle startup Arrival has already earned plenty of attention over the past couple of years for its refreshingly different, futuristic and eye-catching electric commercial-vehicle designs.

As much as the designs are a standout—the company’s Royal Mail vans, for instance—the nature of the $110 million investment in Arrival from Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors, announced last week, is a strategic one—to form a partnership that will let Hyundai and Kia take advantage of Arrival’s modular, scalable “skateboard” platform for future commercial vehicles.

The partnership and investment also enables co-development between the companies of eco-friendly vans, logistics products, on-demand ride-hailing, and shuttle-service companies. 

Hyundai and Kia make strategic investment in Arrival

Hyundai and Kia make strategic investment in Arrival

Of the total investment, Hyundai is contributing 80% and Kia 20%. 

It will help Hyundai and Kia target the European market with electric commercial vehicles and other mobility products; and likewise, the South Korean automaker’s global footprint will likely help Arrival in its own expansion. 

In the UK, Arrival has made its electric trucks priced the same as equivalent diesel models but expects operating costs that are half of such models. 

Hyundai currently has a “two-track” strategy for which it will deliver both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell commercial solutions to the European market. 

In September Arrival announced that it had appointed Mike Ableson, GM’s former VP for EV infrastructure and charging, to lead the company's expansion into North America. 

Arrival was founded in 2015 and now has facilities in the U.S., Germany, Israel, Russia, and the UK. It developed a modular component structure under its vehicles that’s widely scalable.

Hyundai PBV - CES 2020

Hyundai PBV - CES 2020

A release on the announcement seems to note that Arrival could play a part both in Hyundai’s Purpose Built Vehicles concept it showed at CES earlier this month and in Kia’s $25 billion Plan S, also announced earlier this month, to broaden its investment in EVs and develop shared-service and logistics companies. 

The Hyundai announcement for the partnership compared the companies’ investment in Arrival to one announced last May—the Hyundai/Kia $90 million investment in Croatian performance electric vehicle company Rimac.