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

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

GM begins historic shift to electric vehicles

GM CEO Mary Barra with the company's flexible electric vehicle platform. Photo: GM

General Motors on Wednesday took the wraps off a broad lineup of electric vehicles powered by a new proprietary battery technology, representing a dramatic transformation of the 112-year-old automaker.

Why it matters: It's a $20 billion bet over the next five years that GM hopes both consumers and investors will endorse as the company walks a tightrope between maximizing sales of its profitable gas-powered trucks and SUVs and delivering on a long-term vision for a cleaner, less congested world.

GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

The impact of coronavirus spans the energy universe

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The effects of the coronavirus on renewable energy, electric vehicles and oil are all coming into sharper focus in recent days.

Why it matters: A report from research firm BloombergNEF provides a window onto the breadth of the virus' effects on a suite of energy technologies, not just use of oil.