The skateboard platform for Canoo's electric vehicle.

The skateboard platform for Canoo's electric vehicle.

Electric car developer Canoo Inc. signed its first partnership with a large auto manufacturer.

The Torrance-based company announced Feb. 11 that it will license its existing electric vehicle platform designs to Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Kia Motors Corp.

Hyundai will use the technology in new Kia and Hyundai electric vehicles.

Canoo's "skateboard" electric vehicle platform concept allows for compact storage of critical components, freeing up space on the chassis and adding more room to the interior cabin of the car.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Canoo's engineers will provide engineering services and consultation to Hyundai as it works to retrofit its assembly lines and produce the simpler chassis.

"It is a real honor for us to help Hyundai explore EV architecture concepts for their future models," said Canoo Chief Executive Ulrich Kranz.

Kranz, who worked on BMW's electric vehicle program before co-founding Canoo, added, "We have been working diligently to develop a bold new electric vehicle, and partnering with Hyundai is a validating moment for our young company."

Hyundai's partnership with Canoo is indicative of its larger goal of becoming a more electrified car manufacturer. Hyundai recently announced it will commit $87 billion over the next five years to investment in electric vehicles and technologies.

Canoo launched in December 2017 and opened the waitlist for its vehicle in September. The company intends to sell the cars on a subscription-only basis for a monthly fee and said it will begin delivering the vehicles in 2021.

"We were highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative (electric vehicle) architecture, making them the perfect engineering partner for us as we transition to become a front-runner in the future mobility industry," Hyundai Motor Group Head of Research and Development Albert Biermann said in a statement.

Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at samore@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.

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