Arrival's new eLCV aims to be cheaper than rivals
Arrival claims to have developed a production method that will allow it to bring the price of its electric van in-line with rival zero-emission LCVs from Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
The company has done this by adding 20 6m x 6m ‘micro-factories’ at its 10,000sq ft manufacturing plant in Banbury. Each micro-factory houses one vehicle during the build process.
Arrival’s head of corporate communications Imogen Pierce, explained the reasoning behind the micro-factories: “It encourages simplicity of design and reduced complexity throughout the design process if you have to consider a simple manufacturing method from the outset. It means our factories can have a small footprint too, so they can be located close to areas of demand.”
Established in 2015, Arrival is currently developing its first LCV, the Generation 2 Electric Vehicle. Its 790-strong workforce will eventually build 10,000 of the new electric LCVs per year.
“By producing this amount of vehicles, we hope to provide the buyer with a price tag of around €40,000 (£34,500), which is equivalent to the electric Sprinter and Crafter,” Pierce explained.
Blackberry will be supplying the marque with its QNX SDP 7.0 operating system, which will power the advanced driver assistance systems within the vehicle. Aesthetically, it will look similar to Volta’s e-LCV, and will have a 4x2 axle configuration.
Not much has been revealed about the new vehicle ahead of it entering production, but Arrival has confirmed it will have a payload of approximately 2 tonnes and a range of around 300km.
James S Hislop happy with its Mercedes-Benz Actros1s
James S Hislop has taken delivery of four identical previous-generation Mercedes-Benz Actros1 6x2 tractor units. All are running the marque’s 530hp straight-6 engine, and have been fitted with GigaSpace cabs.
According to the company’s MD, Alan Hislop, the Mercedes were bought because James S Hislop “needed new vehicles at the time, and the Actros were available so we’d thought we’d try those. It was a good deal too, because they were the previous generation”.
The Scottish Borders-based company’s Actros1s come with Style Line interior trims, which includes a leather steering wheels, leather massage seats, an uprated multimedia and infotainment systems, and a Premium comfort mattresses.
Active Brake Assist 4 and Proximity Control Assist feature on the new vehicles, as well as Predictive Powertrain Control. Externally, they all wear Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels, have roof-mounted horns, and an illuminated grille-mounted three-pointed star.
Hislop said the Actros1s “are doing absolutely fine”, and they’ve been delivering “average returns that are around the 9mpg mark. That may not sound a lot for us, given that we’re almost two hours from the nearest motorway”.
They’ve gone down well with the firm’s drivers too: “The drivers are more than happy with their Actros1s. That’s hardly surprising because as well as being striking in appearance, it’s also a lovely truck to drive, and very well specified,” Hislop commented.
Supplied by Mercedes-Benz Western Commercials dealership on four year lease agreements, the new vehicles join a mixed fleet of 20 DAFs, including two new XF 530s, and one Scania – a new R 580.
“Myself and the drivers enjoy working in all of our trucks, and operating the Mercedes has been great (touch wood) so far. We’d definitely consider getting more,” concluded Hislop.