Shares in Arrival (NASDAQ:ARVL) rose on the first day of trading after completing its US$13bn (£12.5bn) US initial public offer, as the Oxford-based company outlined plans for the launch of its first electric buses and vans on the road, along with the expansion of production facilities.
In what was one of the largest ever UK tech flotations, the company merged with ‘blank check’ vehicle CIIG Merger Corp and announced that its electric van is expected to begin public road trials with customers this summer and its electric bus in the final quarter of 2021 with the First Bus division of FirstGroup PLC (LON:FGP).
Production for the Arrival bus is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the Arrival van in the second half of 2022, with the UK government having earlier this month announced plans to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric or hydrogen buses during the current parliament.
The company, which says it has developed a unique new method for the design and production of electric vehicles (EV) that enables it to build quality vehicles for a similar price to fossil fuel equivalents, said it plans to use its US$660mln gross proceeds to ramp up delivery of its electric vehicles and expand its global network of its ‘microfactories’.
Arrival currently has three 'microfactory' plants, with the first in Bicester near Oxford recently joined by a pair in North and South Carolina in the US. Microfactories are “rapidly scalable and enable decentralized production that can be deployed in local communities, hiring local talent, paying local taxes and using the local supply chain... designed for the local region’s mobility requirements”.
The listing comes after these US openings and following customer trials of its latest van and bus products in recent months and ahead of the UK public road trials planned with key customers this summer.
Its fully electric van, made with lightweight aluminium frame and proprietary composite body panels, is designed to offer a much lower total cost of ownership, the company says, as well as zero emissions, with hardware and software components upgradeable over time to keep up to date with the latest technology, and a modular battery ranging from 44kWh to 133kWh to allow operators to choose the configuration that best suits their range requirements.
Arrival's stock was listed in the US at $22 at the point the deal closed, and rose to US$22.8 by the close.
Founder and CEO Denis Sverdlov, whose 76% stake is now worth US$9.8bn, said: “Going public is an opportunity that will allow us to continue to scale globally, bringing these products to more and more cities and people.”
Sverdlov, a telecoms tycoon and former Russian deputy minister, founded the business in 2015.
Other shareholders include Hyundai Motor, BlackRock and Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin.
CIIG Merger Corp is led by former Marvel Entertainment boss Peter Cuneo.