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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.

Go deeper: Managing data from all those dockless scooters

Go deeper

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.