Hyundai has tapped LA-based Canoo to help it develop a new skateboard EV platform.
Hyundai Motor Group has a new pure-electric vehicle development partner, and it's one you may never have heard of: Canoo. Based in Los Angeles, Canoo is relatively new to the scene, working to develop electric vehicles intended solely for subscription rather than individual ownership. The startup has created its own proprietary flexible "skateboard" EV architecture - one good enough, apparently, to capture Hyundai's attention.
In the future, Hyundai and Canoo will jointly develop a new fully scalable, pure-electric platform capable of accommodating an array of different vehicle sizes and body styles.
"Skateboard" EV platforms like the one Hyundai Motor Group will develop with Canoo incorporate the batteries, drive motor(s), suspension, and other components into a single vertically compact package that can be adapted to suit numerous vehicle designs. Canoo's architecture was developed with a particular emphasis on functional integration - that is, deriving as many uses as possible from each included component.
An example of that might be a battery pack housing serving as a structural crossmember, lending its own strength and rigidity to the vehicle chassis, as seen in a Ford patent application that we uncovered recently.
"We were highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative EV architecture, making them the perfect engineering partner for us as we transition to become a frontrunner in the future mobility industry," says Hyundai Motor Group's Head of R&D, Albert Biermann, who previously led BMW's high-performance M division.
"We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption."
Like many of its competitors, Hyundai Motor Group is investing heavily in powertrain electrification in order to meet increasingly stringent emissions rules in Europe and elsewhere. To that end, Hyundai has announced that it will invest some $52 billion into future technologies - including electrification - through 2025, and Kia will invest another $25 billion as it aims to hit a target of 25% eco-friendly vehicle sales by the same year.