Electric-vehicle startup Arrival is retreating from plans to build its vans in the UK, dealing another blow to Britain’s ambition to transition its manufacturing base to battery power.
Arrival ended last quarter with about $330 million on hand, as its plunging share price inhibited efforts to raise funds through at-the-market stock offerings.
With cash dwindling and its microfactory in Bicester, northwest of London, requiring significant investment to scale up production, the company announced plans Thursday to restructure its business to focus on making vans in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Founder and CEO Denis Sverdlov last month signaled Arrival’s interest in seizing on the climate bill signed by President Joe Biden, which supports investment in manufacturing EVs in the U.S. and subsidizes purchases of cars and commercial vehicles.
Arrival's earlier plan had been to deliver its first vans to UK customers this year, then launch its Charlotte microfactory in 2023.
The change in strategy will have a “sizable” affect on Arrival’s workforce, particularly in Britain, the company said in a statement.
Roughly 1,000 of the more than 2,000 people employed as of August were in the UK.
Arrival’s announcement follows BMW’s decision to build its new-generation electric Minis in China with Great Wall instead of at Mini's home plant in Oxford, central England.
Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that cash-strapped battery hopeful Britishvolt has been in discussions about selling its main factory site to Slovak startup Inobat.
Arrival listed in the U.S. through a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company last year. Its shares have plummeted 90 percent this year.