Korean automaker Hyundai Motor expanded its future transportation portfolio with an agreement to jointly develop electric vehicles with California startup Canoo, the companies stated last week.
It was the second such deal declared in recently by Hyundai and sister company Kia Motors, which in mid-January stated they would spend $110 million in UK startup Arrival and jointly work on electric commercial vehicles.
In Seoul, a Hyundai spokesperson stated the automaker’s partnership with two-year-old Canoo would concentrate on smaller electric passenger vehicles regarding the size of its Accent compact.
Similar to Arrival, Canoo has developed a “skateboard” – a low-rise platform that combines batteries and electric motors with such chassis parts as steering, brakes, wheels and tires – on which a range of body types can be constructed.
Canoo last fall unveiled its own “post-SUV” model, based on its electric-vehicle skateboard and meant to be marketed to people and fleets by subscription.
Hyundai has been spending a lot in recent months in a range of future transportation ventures, notably a $4 billion joint venture with auto provider Aptiv, announced in September, to work on self-driving vehicles and systems.
Those investments belong to a sweeping five-year $87 billion plan to boost the automaker’s expertise and activity in electrification, automation and similar services.
Previously, Hyundai and Kia had made many transportation-related investments, some of them include Silicon Valley self-driving startup Aurora, ride services startups Ola in India and Grab in Singapore.
Hyundai and Kia last year spent $89 million in Rimac Automobili, a nine-year-old Croatian company that aspires to create electric supercars and which is also backed by Porsche.