Further investment in skateboard platforms by Hyundai

12 February 2020

12 February 2020

Hyundai Motor Group has continued its mission to develop electric vehicles (EVs) by investing in start-up companies, announcing its latest venture with Canoo.

The Californian company will work with the Korean manufacturer to jointly develop an EV platform using its proprietary skateboard design. 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.

Hyundai Motor Group expects the platform to help facilitate its commitment to delivering cost-competitive electrified vehicles, ranging from small-sized EVs to purpose-built vehicles (PBVs), which meet diverse customer needs.


Canoo, a Los Angeles based company creating EVs for subscription only, offers a skateboard platform which houses the most critical components of the vehicle with a strong emphasis on functional integration, meaning all components fulfil as many functions as possible. This feat of engineering reduces the skateboard size, weight and the total number of parts, which ultimately provides more interior cabin space and a more cost-effective EV offering. Also, the Canoo skateboard is a self-contained unit that can pair with any cabin design.

The Korean carmaker expects to develop an adaptable all-electric platform using Canoo’s scalable skateboard architecture to allow for a simplified and standardised development process for Hyundai and Kia electrified vehicles, which is expected to help reduce the cost that can be passed on 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.

Continued investment

With this collaboration, Hyundai Motor Group doubles down on its recent commitment to invest $87 billion (€80 billion) over the next five years to foster future growth. As part of this drive, Hyundai plans to invest $52 billion (€48 billion) in future technologies through 2025, while Kia will invest $25 billion (€23 billion) in electrification and future mobility technologies, aiming for eco-friendly vehicles to comprise 25% of its total sales by 2025.

′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,’ said Albert Biermann, Head of Research and Development, Hyundai Motor Group. ‘We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous-ready and suitable for mass adoption.’

′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,’ added Ulrich Kranz, In Charge of Canoo. ′It is a real honour for us to help Hyundai explore EV architecture concepts for their future models.’

Hyundai recently invested in UK start-up Arrival, putting €100 million into the business that also produces skateboard architecture, predominantly for commercial EVs. The company has since announced a deal to provide such models to delivery firm UPS.