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Hyundai announces EV platform partnership

Laid foundations: American EV specialist Canoo will help HMG develop a dedicated EV platform for future vehicles.

HMG partners with Canoo to develop future EV platform for Hyundai, Kia models

13 Feb 2020

HYUNDAI Motor Group (HMG) has announced it has formed a partnership with LA-based EV specialist Canoo with the aim of developing an EV platform to be used by Hyundai and Kia EVs and other purpose-built vehicles.


HMG will leverage Canoo’s proprietary skateboard design for its future electric models, which the South Korean auto giant says will allow for a simplified and standardised development process, therefore reducing development costs and vehicle sticker prices.


Canoo was chosen by HMG due to their platform, which it says has a strong emphasis of functional integration with the battery packs and motors all housed within the skateboard architecture, making it as adaptable and usable as possible.


The announcement of the investment forms part of HMG’s US$87 billion (A$129.4b) investment over the next five years, with US$25b (A$37.19b) of that being spent by Hyundai on future technologies, and the same amount by Kia for electrification and future mobility technologies, with the end goal of achieving 25 per cent of sales made up of eco-friendly vehicles by 2025.


At the start of the year, HMG stated its desire to build 44 electrified models by 2025, including 11 dedicated battery EVs, 13 hybrids, six plug-in hybrids and two fuel-cell electric (FCEV) models.


The first all-electric model from the company is expected to surface next year, however vehicles underpinned by the new Canoo platform will take until around 2024 to materialise.


Along with developing a set of regular mass-market EV vehicles, HMG will also use the Canoo platform to create its own zero-emissions purpose built vehicles (PBVs), first previewed in concept form by a scalable pod-like vehicle designed for a range of different applications.


The future PBVs will be tailored specifically for shared-service and logistics companies, and could replace traditional vans and commercial vehicles in certain scenarios.


In its New Year address at the start of the year, HMG also announced it will be building FCEVs for commercial applications in alternative forms of craft, such as vessels, railcars, forklifts and generators.


LA-based Canoo is a relative newcomer on the EV scene, first being established in late 2017 with the goal of making electric mobility easier, particularly in urban situations.


It launched its first subscription-only EV in September, and will release its first vehicle in 2021, with the aim of providing a shared and autonomous form of transport.


HMG head of research and development Albert Biermann said the company was excited to work with Canoo.


“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,” he said.


“We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption.”


Hyundai already offers two full BEVs in Australia – the Kona EV and Ioniq EV – while Kia is yet to offer any BEV or PHEV options Down Under.

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