When it comes to manufacturing electric vehicles or EVs, a lot of money goes into purchasing the equipment and materials as well as finding a large working space for the production process. But now, a British-American startup called Arrival has “arrived” just in time to introduce the concept of “microfactories” to build their products.
Microfactories can be described as small manufacturing plants that cost only about $50 million dollars and utilize lightweight colored plastic components instead of expensive manufacturing equipment. These microfactories are used in a new cell-based assembly and can quickly deploy products which saves commercial space as well. According to their website, “Every Arrival vehicle is produced in small-footprint, low cost Microfactories.” These factories are also built close to customer base which allows them to hire local workers as well as reduce the shipping cost on the product, which is a benefit for the environment as well as for local economy.
Arrival started by constructing a microfactory in Bicester, England and is now expanding to the USA by building two microfactories; one in North Carolina for manufacturing vans for United Parcel Service and another in South Caroline for buses. It also plans to build a microfactory in Spain in the future. Denis Sverdlov, founder of Arrival, is hopeful for the future of the business and explains, “Vans are the fastest-growing category in the automotive industry in general, and the simplest to understand.”
The microfactory aims to create about 10,000 vehicles each year and provide employment to about 250 workers. While it may seem like a small number compared to a traditional factory, it’s still in the experimental phase and would eventually grow with time. The best part about this microfactory is that even if a product doesn’t meet the client’s requirements or fails to work, it wont have a drastic effect on the local economy thanks to the environmentally friendly equipment.