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Hyundai grabs a paddle, partners with Canoo for future electric car platform

Canoo made a splash with its nifty "skateboard" platform, and Hyundai wants in on the engineering feat.

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Hyundai-Canoo future EV platform

Hyundai sees the skateboard-style platform as the future.

Hyundai

Talk about making a name for yourself quickly. Canoo, the Los Angeles-based startup formed in 2017, has earned a major partner in Hyundai Motor.

The South Korean automaker announced on Wednesday that it will join forces with Canoo to co-develop a future electric car platform for Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The architecture will likely be an adaptable one with a so-called "skateboard" design, which houses all critical vehicle components. The big benefits to this kind of design are increased cabin space and lower overall complexity.

Hyundai says the design pairs with any sort of cabin layout, which leaves the future platform open to numerous kinds of vehicles.

When the platform is ready for production, the automaker expects it will help create a standardized manufacturing process that will help keep costs down. Meanwhile, the flexibility will help Hyundai meet quickly changing needs for car buyers and various countries ramp up regulations to taper CO2 output.

The tie-up comes at a good time for Canoo, too. The startup unveiled its first vehicle, also called the Canoo, last year and opened a waitlist for the futuristic minivan... thing last month. The company won't actually sell the car directly to customers, but instead will provide it as part of a subscription service. Canoo promises the service will be "affordable," but that word is open for interpretation.

The first subscribers will get their Canoo vehicles in 2021. Meanwhile, it'll be hard at work with Hyundai on the new platform. There's no timeline for when the architecture will be ready, but the automaker has $87 billion with a B ready to invest in electrification technologies through 2025.

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