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Hyundai will make cheap EVs based on Canoo's subscription pods

Engadget 2020-02-12 14:59:00

EV startup Canoo first gained attention back in September 2019 when it announced its plans to launch the world's first subscription-only electric vehicle. Now, it's joining forces with Hyundai to develop an all-electric, scalable EV platform, which could make for simpler and cheaper models in the future.

The partnership focuses on Canoo's (relatively) unique skateboard design, which utilizes a pared-back approach to EV building. Each component serves multiple purposes, meaning the platform is smaller and lighter than traditional EV platforms, which means lower prices. The skateboard base is a self-contained unit that can be paired with any cabin design, although the partnership will use it for upcoming Hyundai and Kia models.

This streamlined "mix and match" approach could be a real boon for the EV industry, especially when cost remains a big barrier to adoption. No doubt it'll also serve Hyundai's sustainability goals well, too -- the company wants eco-friendly vehicles to comprise 25 percent of its total sales by 2025. However, EVs and their infrastructure is still a largely experimental area, and there are numerous tie-ups that haven't yet come to fruition. This partnership does, however, illustrate possibilities for the industry.