British electric vehicle pioneer, Arrival, has entered administration, casting uncertainty over 170 jobs and signalling a major setback just three years after its valuation soared to over $15 billion.
The Oxfordshire-based company, known for its innovative approach to electric vehicles, has enlisted the consultancy firm EY as administrator following challenges in launching its debut electric van.
The decision to seek administration comes on the heels of a trading suspension on New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange and a subsequent notification of delisting due to Arrival’s failure to meet listing standards, stemming from its inability to file accounts for 2022.
According to administrators from EY, Arrival’s liquidity position suffered due to adverse market conditions, resulting in delays in bringing its products to market. The administrators are actively exploring options for the sale of Arrival’s business and assets, including its electric vehicle platforms, software, intellectual property, and R&D assets, to benefit creditors.
Founded in west London in 2014 by Denis Sverdlov, Arrival initially garnered attention for its ambitious plans to revolutionize the electric vehicle industry. However, the company faced setbacks, including Sverdlov stepping aside in late 2022 and subsequent layoffs of 800 UK-based employees.
Despite initial plans to focus on the European market, Arrival shifted its strategy to concentrate on the US van market. The company, which currently employs 400 staff, including 172 in the UK, recently made 39 staff redundant amidst struggles to control costs.
Arrival’s downfall adds to the challenges faced by the UK’s electric vehicle sector, following the collapse of Britishvolt, an electric vehicle battery maker, last year. However, there are still promising developments, such as Tata’s agreement to invest £4 billion in establishing a battery gigafactory in Somerset, underlining ongoing efforts to drive innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry.