Hyundai Group, Canoo to co-develop platform for future electric vehicles

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 12 Feb 2020


Hyundai Motor Group has engaged Canoo, a Los Angeles based company creating EVs for subscription only, to jointly develop an electric vehicle (EV) platform based on Canoo’s proprietary skateboard design for upcoming Hyundai and Kia models. As part of the collaboration, Canoo will provide engineering services to help develop a fully scalable, all-electric platform to meet Hyundai and Kia specifications. With this collaboration, Hyundai Motor Group doubles down on its recent commitment to invest US $87 billion (Rs 621,267 crore) over the next five years to foster future growth as well as its plan to develop Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).

Hyundai Motor Group expects the platform to help facilitate its commitment to delivering cost-competitive electrified vehicles — ranging from small-sized EVs to PBVs— that meet diverse customer needs. Canoo, offers a skateboard platform which houses the most critical components of the vehicle with a strong emphasis on functional integration, meaning all components fulfill as many functions as possible. This feat of engineering reduces the skateboard size, weight and total number of parts, which ultimately provides more interior cabin space and a more cost-effective EV offering. In addition, the Canoo skateboard is a self-contained unit that can be paired with any cabin design.

Hyundai Motor Group expects an adaptable all-electric platform using Canoo’s scalable skateboard architecture to allow for a simplified and standardized development process for Hyundai and Kia electrified vehicles, which is expected to help reduce cost that can be passed along to consumers. Hyundai Motor Group also expects to reduce complexity of its EV assembly line, allowing for rapid response to changing market demands and customer preferences.

As part of this drive, Hyundai plans to invest US$52 billion (Rs 371332 crore) in future technologies through 2025, while Kia will invest US$25 billion (Rs 178525 crore) in electrification and future mobility technologies, aiming for eco-friendly vehicles to comprise 25% of its total sales by 2025.

Speaking on the collaboration, Albert Biermann, Head of Research & Development, Hyundai Motor Group said: “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.”

Ulrich Kranz, In Charge of Canoo added “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,” said. It is a real honor for us to help Hyundai explore EV architecture concepts for their future models.”

Hyundai and Kia both recently announced plans to develop fully electric PBVs. Hyundai presented its first PBV concept as  a key pillar of its smart mobility solution strategy at CES 2020 in January. At its CEO Investor Day on January 14, Kia announced its plan to develop PBVs tailored for shared-service companies and logistics companies.

Albert Biermann further explained, “We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption.”

Canoo unveiled its first electric vehicle for subscription only on Sept. 24, 2019, just 19 months after the company’s founding in December 2017. Canoo’s proprietary skateboard architecture, which directly houses the batteries and electric drivetrain, has enabled Canoo to reimagine EV design in a way that challenges traditional automotive shape and functionality.

The company reached Beta testing phase within 19 months of inception, and the company recently opened the waitlist for its first vehicle.  Canoo’s first vehicle will launched in 2021.