Feb 14, 2020 - Technology

Hyundai and Kia to develop vehicles with electric skateboard tech

Canoo's electric skateboard will be the basis for future Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Photo: Courtesy of Canoo
Canoo's electric skateboard will be the basis for future Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Photo: Courtesy of Canoo

Hyundai and Kia announced this week they will develop future vehicles using electric skateboard technology developed by startup Canoo.

Why it matters: It's the first big partnership for Canoo, a 2-year-old EV company founded by former BMW executives who fled Faraday Future.

The big picture: Big automakers like GM, as well as startups like Rivian and Arrival, are developing flexible electric skateboard architectures that can be used for everything from compact cars to delivery trucks.

  • The powertrain, batteries and suspension are packaged in flat chassis that can be stretched or squeezed to support different types of vehicles.
  • At a recent event, GM President Mark Reuss compared its flexible EV architecture to an ice cube tray: “You can put in as much water to make as many cubes as you need."

Of note: The deal with Canoo is also the latest in a string of interesting moves by Hyundai, which plans to invest $52.7 billion in R&D and future mobility by 2025.

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