Arrival electric bus begins proving ground trials in UK

An electric bus built on the microfactories concept, and which aims to make the transition to electric vehicles more economically viable, has started trials at a testing facility in the UK.

The Arrival Bus will be going through rigorous validation and testing ahead of EU certification and public road trials later this year.

Sustainability goals

Arrival has been developing its own proprietary hardware, software and multi-tasking robotics since 2015 and is using these technologies to enable electric bus and delivery van production through its automated microfactories, which are small-footprint, low capex and can be deployed quickly to serve local communities.

The firm describes itself as a technology company, a product company, a supply chain company, an automotive company, a mobility company, a fintech company and a service company, all rolled into one, that aims to help cities and governments achieve their sustainability goals.

The Arrival Bus can be tailored to meet local cities’ needs with a modular design that enables length, range, battery, and passenger capacity to be configured. The company’s software ecosystem enables full connectivity, digital customisation and provides access to vehicle behaviour and data.

“We’ve seen a strong interest in the bus this year, specifically from governments who are looking to upgrade their public transportation networks, in order to achieve their zero-emission pledges,” said Franck Dessenis, vice president of bus platform, Arrival. “We’re partnering closely with governments, cities, and operators to build infrastructure solutions and seamless mobility services for local communities to support their clean energy targets.”

The first Arrival Bus features up to three doors, with flexible passenger seating capacity across the entire flat floor, allowing for greater accessibility, as well as creating more usable standing space and the ability for passengers to travel more comfortably.

The vehicle also has wrap-around exterior and interior screens, adaptable lighting, a transparent roof, and a suite of digital features. It uses in-house components that are also found on the Arrival Van and Car, and Arrival’s lightweight recyclable composite materials. This, alongside common suspension and the wheels and tyres at front and rear, means the Bus is estimated to be lighter than other battery-electric buses in the market today.

Following proving ground trials, Arrival will commence public road trials of the bus with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators, in the first quarter of 2022. The trials will see Arrival’s vehicles operating on existing First Bus routes in the UK. Arrival is expected to begin production for the bus in the second quarter of the year.



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