Hyundai and Canoo to develop new electric car platform

Los Angeles-based technology company Canoo has been chosen to help Hyundai develop its new, scalable electric architecture.

Hyundai Motor Group has confirmed it will jointly develop a new, all-electric car platform with the Los Angeles-based technology company, Canoo. The new platform will underpin a fresh range of compact Hyundai and Kia EVs, giving the Korean giant new models to challenge the likes of the Skoda Citigo iV and Renault ZOE.

The new electric architecture will be based on Canoo’s existing scalable “skateboard” platform, which already houses the major EV-specific components such as an electric motor and battery pack. Hyundai hopes this decision will allow for a simplified development process, easier assembly and – most importantly – a lower vehicle price for the consumer. 

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As well as underpinning a handful of compact passenger vehicles, Hyundai’s latest electric platform will also feature under a range of new “Purpose Built Vehicles”. This class includes vehicles such as compact last-mile delivery vans and autonomous urban mobility pods. Hyundai unveiled its first PBV – an autonomous urban vehicle, styled to look like a San Francisco cable car – at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

This latest collaboration has seen the Hyundai Motor Group double its investment into product development. Over the next five years, the company plans to spend $87 billion (around £67 billion) on future powertrains, platforms and vehicles. $25 billion (roughly £19 billion) will be allocated to Kia, which aims for ‘eco-friendly’ vehicles to comprise 25 percent of its sales by 2025.

Hyundai and Kia have already confirmed they will have 38 green cars in their line-ups by the mid-2020s, including 14 EVs. Premium brand Genesis is expected to launch its first electric car next year, while the group will continue the development of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to supplement its existing Hyundai Nexo SUV.

Hyundai and Canoo’s co-developed EV underpinnings will also be joined by a separate Hyundai Group dedicated electric car platform, that will give the Korean company a host of fresh rivals for Volkswagen’s range of MEB-based vehicles.

What do you make of the Hyundai Group’s latest electric car platform? Let us know in the comments section below…