Uber partners with Arrival for dedicated ride-hailing car

04 May 2021

Arrival, the electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) creator, is partnering with Uber to develop a model purpose-built for the ride-hailing market.

The UK-based company has concentrated mainly on commercial-vehicle platforms in the past. However, working with Uber, the company will help to address the ‘global need to shift ride-hailing services to electric mobility.’

The Arrival Car is expected to enter production in Q3 2023. It will give Uber the platform to meet its commitment to become a fully-electric mobility platform in London by 2025, and by 2030 in Europe and the US.. With the number of journeys increasing through ride-hailing services, demand in the sector has grown in recent years. Arrival states that there are around 30 million drivers globally working in the market.

Mobility specifications

According to the EV company, a typical ride-hailing vehicle will, on average, drive between 45-50,000km per year, compared to 12,000km for a typical private vehicle.

Therefore, Arrival will look to prioritise driver comfort, safety and convenience. The new model will also give passengers a premium experience, allowing Uber to offer this service to its users.

Arrival will collaborate with Uber drivers in the design process over the coming months. This will help to ensure the Arrival Car reflects the needs of professional drivers and their passengers. The final vehicle design is expected to be revealed before the end of 2021.

‘We are confident that electrifying ride-hailing vehicles will have an outsized impact on cities, and we are keen to support drivers as they manage this transition,’ commented Tom Elvidge, senior vice president at Arrival Mobility UK. ‘Arrival Car will be designed around drivers’ needs to create a vehicle that is affordable, durable and desirable.

‘We have a great partnership with UPS to create a best-in-class electric delivery vehicle, and we hope to replicate that success with Uber as we develop the best possible product for ride hailing that elevates the experience of the passenger and improves drivers’ health, safety and finances.’

Clean-air goals

Cities around the world are looking to reduce air-pollution levels drastically. This is being done via a mix of diesel bans and congestion charging. Mobility services will also help to play a role in this reduction, taking multiple vehicles off the road as commuters share cars instead.

Uber launched its clean-air plan in London two years ago, and more than £135 million (€156 million) has been raised to support drivers with the switch to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

Uber’s focus is now to encourage drivers to apply for EV assistance under the clean-air plan. It hopes this will help clean up urban transport and drive a mass market for BEVs.

‘As our cities open up, we have an opportunity to make sure that urban transport is cleaner than ever before,’ added Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe. ‘Uber is committed to helping every driver in London upgrade to a BEV by 2025. Our partnership with Arrival will help us achieve this goal.’

Uber Green recently launched in London, giving passengers the ability to select a fully-electric vehicle at no extra cost, while drivers pay a lower service fee.

So far in London, more than 3.5 million trips have taken place in BEVs, helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the capital. Uber is committing to double the number of drivers in EVs by the end of this year.

Expanding models

The Arrival Car will join the company’s commercial products, the Bus and Van, to provide cities with a multi-modal zero-emission transportation ecosystem that they require in order to meet their sustainability goals over the coming years.

Arrival secured an investment of €100 million from Hyundai Motor Company in January last year. The carmakers plan to supply eco-friendly vans and buses, built-in volume and based on Arrival’s skateboard platform, to European logistics companies and mobility companies. The partnership with Uber is the latest example of that plan in action following the deal to supply UPS with 10,000 electric vans for its UK, Europe and US operations