Hyundai Taps California Firm for Joint EV Platform
Developing a new vehicle platform in-house is an expensive affair, making the cost of producing an electric vehicle from the ground up a heavy weight to place on an automaker’s balance sheet. Margins for such vehicles are currently slim, if not nonexistent. No wonder everyone’s trying to free up cash.
And yet, because the world has decided EVs are the future, automakers can’t be without them. Ford recently partnered with Michigan startup Rivian to source a platform for an upcoming Lincoln crossover, and now Hyundai has followed suit.
Hyundai and Canoo. Best buddies.
It’s not entirely an off-someone-else’s-shelf proposition. Hyundai has forged an agreement with California-based EV tech startup Canoo to jointly develop a new EV platform from the firm’s existing “skateboard” architecture. Rivian, you’ll recall, has a skateboard of its own, and it’s not shy about letting others use it.
Last September, Canoo slid the platform beneath a box-like EV it intends to sell via a subscription model in 2021.
“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 said in a release.
“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 (PBV) — that meet diverse customer needs.”
As Hyundai has earned a lasting reputation as a purveyor of value-laden models, a steep markup for a so-badged EV model wouldn’t jibe with the brand’s credo. The current Ioniq Electric is certainly among the cheapest EVs on the market, but one compact hatch — joined by the Kona EV subcompact crossover last year — won’t cut it going into the 2020s. Corporate sibling Kia Motors hosts a similar amount of electrification in its showrooms.
Both brands will have to up the ante to reach Hyundai Motor Group’s goal of drawing 25 percent of its sales from green vehicles by 2025.
The automaker said it “expects an adaptable all-electric platform using Canoo’s scalable skateboard architecture to allow for a simplified and standardized development process for Hyundai and Kia electrified vehicles, which is expected to help reduce cost that can be passed along to consumers.”
Hyundai didn’t mention when the first Canoo-based vehicle might make it to production.
R Henry on Feb 13, 2020
Confused here. ...All this blather about "skateboards" and an accompanying illustration of what is most certainly a frame. Am I to understand that there is a going to be a resurgence of Body on Frame construction for EVs, or are these terms, and illustrations, being used as visual shortcuts for highly versatile, yet difficult to visualize unibody/monocoque style "platforms?"
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