Automotive

Hyundai combines with startup Canoo to build next-gen EV platform

Hyundai combines with startup ...
Hyundai sees Canoo's versatile skateboard architecture opening up new possibilities when it comes to developing future electric vehicles
Hyundai sees Canoo's versatile skateboard architecture opening up new possibilities when it comes to developing future electric vehicles
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Hyundai sees Canoo's versatile skateboard architecture opening up new possibilities when it comes to developing future electric vehicles
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Hyundai sees Canoo's versatile skateboard architecture opening up new possibilities when it comes to developing future electric vehicles

Between its investments in flying taxis, self-driving trucks and electric vehicle startups, Hyundai Motor Group is planting its fingers in quite a few pies when it comes to the future of mobility. Its latest collaboration sees the Korean carmaker team up with Californian startup Canoo, with the intent of using that company's skateboard chassis as a basis for upcoming Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles.

The news comes hot on the heels of Hyundai's investment in EV startup Arrival last month, whose skateboard chassis it hopes to use to develop purpose-built commercial vehicles. It holds similar ambitions regarding its new collaboration with Canoo, whose skateboard chassis is a self-contained unit housing the key components of the vehicle and can, according to the companies, be mounted to any cabin design.

Hyundai sees this versatile architecture opening up new possibilities when it comes to developing future electric cars, making the manufacturing simpler and cheaper, which it hopes will be reflected on the final sticker price of its vehicles.

“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 Albert Biermann, Head of Research & Development, Hyundai Motor Group. “We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption.”

For its part, Canoo is a company focused on building pod-like EVs for subscription services only, and recently opened the waitlist for its first electric vehicle. That isn't expected to arrive until 2021, but its progress in the meantime was enough to impress one of the industry's heavy hitters.

“We have been working diligently to develop a bold new electric vehicle and partnering with a global leader like Hyundai is a validating moment for our young company,” says Ulrich Kranz, In Charge of Canoo. “It is a real honor for us to help Hyundai explore EV architecture concepts for their future models.”

The investments in Canoo and Arrival are part of US$87 billion the Hyundai Motor Group has committed to invest in electrification and other future-oriented mobility technologies over the next five years, with the goal of 25 percent of total sales coming from "eco-friendly vehicles" by 2025.

Source: Hyundai

3 comments
nick101
That would be awesome, modular electric vehicles! Not only would they be cheaper to build and buy, they could look like anything you want. I'd like a body that resembles a 1936 Delahaye please!
paul314
The skateboard idea is about 30 years old (GM, if I recall) but I'm glad people are actually starting to building them. It would be cool to have a consumer-available skateboard with just rails for seats and dashboard and other parts, and see what happened. Also, a few turns of the wrench and your sedan is a flatbed pickup.
bkwanab
I wrote a product proposal along these lines when I was at AC Delco Division of GM in about 1972. My plan called for the base chassis and each module to be made from Aluminum so that retired 'modules' could be traded back to the manufacturer for recycling credit against a newer module. The concept envisioned a 'starter' car, with just two seats, that could become either a sports car, coupe of van, depending on the modules installed. It could be later expanded to four doors when a couple became a family with children. The concept included pickup truck bed modules. flat bed, etc. The idea was more a near universal chassis with a range of power units that could be replaced as required and body modules that could be interchangeable as necessary, i.e. a two door sportster for the weekend could become a pick up or van on Monday morning. The concept called for aluminum for recycling and re usability. Carbon fiber had not made it to commercial applications and GRP was not durable enough. The proposal included the idea that a tiny turbine generator could supply enough electrical power, running at a constant and efficient RPM range, to allow the use of one or more electric drive motors. The attraction was the flexibility in transmission cabling vs large gearboxes and drive line components, plus then use of less expensive kerosene (diesel) fuel. The proposal was submitted to GM management who laughed and said it could never work. Such was the state of vision at GM in those days. They would still be building Chevy Nomads with fins if they could get away with it. GM is not an originator of progress. Chrysler and Ford did most of that. Shortly after this Nissan introduced a small car that the owner could exchange different body assemblies that gave the owner a small coupe, fastback, pickup or van. I don't remember if it was ever sold in the US but it was sold in Japan but with a small 4 cylinder engine of course.