Skateboards to EVs: Hyundai taps Canoo for cost reduction

Andrew Cummings
February 14, 2020

Canoo was chosen by HMG due to their platform, which it says has a strong emphasis of functional integration with the battery packs and motors all housed within the skateboard architecture, making it as adaptable and usable as possible.

Hyundai-Kia and Canoo announced on February 12 that they have signed a mutual cooperation agreement on the development of next-generation electric vehicles at the Canoo main office in Los Angeles.

The plan calls for Hyundai - and sister maker Kia - to use Canoo's newly developed skateboard platform as the basis for a smaller electric vehicle similar in size to the Accent, Hyundai's compact sedan.

The Korean carmakers believe Canoo's skateboard architecture would help build a simplified and standardized platform for their EV models as well as cut production costs.

"We were highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative EV architecture, making them the flawless engineering partner for us as we transition to become a frontrunner in the future mobility industry", Biermann said in a statement provided by Hyundai.

Canoo said it will provide engineering services for the development of the electrical platform.

As for Ulrich Kranz, the head of the California-based Canoo, he says it is a real honor for the company to be actually helping Hyundai and Kia explore EV architecture concepts for future models.

Hyundai Mobis also joined Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors in September to invest a combined $2 billion in a 50:50 joint venture with Ireland-based autonomous vehicle startup Aptiv to develop a self-driving platform with Level 4 to 5 autonomous technology by 2022 and supply it to global carmakers. Last year, Hyundai Motor announced it will invest 41 trillion won ($34.5 billion) in new mobility technology development until 2025, with half of its new line up devoted to electric models. Canoo recently opened the waiting list for its first vehicle. Canoo uses it for a vehicle it leases on a subscription basis.

The marque claims this will reduce manufacturing costs, passing savings onto consumers and making EVs more competitively-priced against their internal combustion rivals.

Hyundai Motor Group has committed to invest $ 87 billion in the next five years. This is a major milestone for the company and the culmination of the efforts of 300+ experts working to deliver a proof of concept of Canoo's backbone architectural systems.

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