UK EV Maker Arrival Collapses Into Administration

arrival van ev

British electric vehicle start-up Arrival enters administration three years after being valued at $15bn, with 170 jobs at risk

The UK operations of British electric vehicle maker Arrival have been placed into administration, only three years after the firm listed on the Nasdaq with a value of $15 billion (£12bn).

The company has cut most of its workforce over the past two years amidst difficulties putting its designs into production, but it still employs about 400 staff, of which 172 are in the UK and are directly affected by the administration.

Some 39 people have been made redundant while others are being retained to facilitate the sale of assets, administrators EY said on Monday.

Accountantcy firm EY said on Monday it had been appointed to oversee the administration of the UK business and was “exploring options for the sale of the business and assets” including electric vehicle platforms and intellectual property.

arrival van ev
Image credit: Arrival

Production issues

The company, founded in West London in 2015 by Russian telecoms billionaire Denis Sverdlov, planned to use a revolutionary “microfactory” production system that avoided the large-scale investment usually needed to set up auto plants.

At its height the company had several facilities, including a factory in Bicester, a development facility in Banbury and a headquarters office in Paddington, London.

Its 2021 Nasdaq launch valued it briefly at $15bn, making it the biggest ever initial stock market listing for a UK tech company at the time.

The firm had backing from UPS and Hyundai and an order of 10,000 vans from UPS, but experienced production setbacks and was never able to manufacture a vehicle.

Difficulties included a fire at the Banbury facility while a van prototype was being demonstrated in November 2022, ballooning costs and low morale.

arrival van ev
Image credit: Arrival

Electric production

Arrival said more than a year ago that it risked running out of cash, and efforts to raise funding collapsed last year after the firm said it found accounting errors in its books, but lacked the accounting staff to resolve the issue.

The UK has had a mixed history in taking part in the global expansion of electric vehicle production,  with electric vehicle battery maker Britishvolt going into administration last year after running out of funds.

Last July, however, Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Group said it planned to build a battery gigafactory in Somerset with an investment of £4bn.