Electric cars charging

Electric cars are plugged into a charging station.

(The Center Square) – Zero-emissions electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival will build its first U.S. microfactory in Rock Hill, the company announced Tuesday.

The London-based company’s $46 million investment will create a projected 240 new jobs in York County.

"Our new Microfactory in South Carolina is the beginning of a paradigm shift in the [electric vehicle] space,” Mike Ableson, CEO of Arrival North America, said in a statement. “We're thankful for the great work at the state and local levels that lead us to South Carolina, and we are excited to be able to partner with York County to deliver our vision for commercial electric vehicles while investing in the lives of the community members that support Arrival.”

Arrival’s new facility will use a cell-based assembly method, instead of the traditional assembly line model, allowing it to produce any vehicle from the Arrival portfolio. This factory setup is designed to bring down the cost of Arrival electric vehicles, making them more affordable to South Carolina consumers.

“We couldn’t be happier that Arrival has decided to build zero-emissions [electric vehicles] right here in South Carolina,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “It speaks volumes to our business-friendly climate and well-trained workforce, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

The facility is expected to begin operations by early 2021. Production initially will focus on building electric busses, sourcing materials through a localized supply chain.

“The automotive industry continues to be a major job creator in our state’s economy, and today’s announcement is another sign of that,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “Arrival’s decision to locate new operations in South Carolina builds on our international reputation for being a place where businesses can succeed.”

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.