Electric delivery van microfactory to bring more than 250 jobs to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Electrical vehicle company, Arrival, announced Wednesday that it will be building its second US microfactory in west Charlotte.

The microfactory, which will produce electric delivery vans for UPS, is expected to bring more than 250 new jobs to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. It will be located in west Charlotte near Charlotte Douglas International Airport at Meadow Oak Commerce Center.

Arrival is investing about $41.2 million in the production center that can assemble up to 10,000 electric delivery vans each year. Production is expected to begin in the summer of 2022.

Charlotte-headquarted Arrival was founded in 2015 and said it works to accelerate the transition to zero-emission commercial vehicles by creating products that are comparable in price with fossil fuel equivalents. According to the company, the new microfactory in Charlotte exemplifies this approach, bringing to the region fully electric vans that excel across both payload and cargo volume.

Last fall, Arrival announced it would be opening a microfactory facility for its electric buses in Rock Hill 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.”

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.