Hyundai partners with Canoo on EVs, expands fuel cell partnership

Hyundai partners with Canoo on EVs, expands fuel cell partnership

The Korean automaker is extending commitments to electrified mobility with two programs.


Washington, D.C. – Hyundai Motor Co. is pursuing two initiatives to expand electric vehicle (EV) availability in the near future – an expansion of its ongoing hydrogen fuel cell development work with the U.S. Department of Energy, and a new partnership for EV’s with California-based Canoo.

Fuel cell program

Hyundai will provide the U.S. Department of Energy with five NEXO fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) for use in various regions of the country including Washington, D.C., to help advance research and development of fuel cell technologies. Data from the vehicles and infrastructure will be collected, analyzed and published to identify additional research needs in key areas such as durability, performance and reliability. Activities will also help support training and workforce development programs.

In addition to supporting the U.S. Federal Government's advancement of fuel cell technologies, Hyundai will contribute funding to install a small-scale hydrogen fueling station in the Washington, D.C. area this fall, previously developed through the Department of Energy’s H-Prize H2Refuel competition

Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, said, “With the potential for application across multiple industries, we firmly believe that hydrogen fuel cells are necessary for a sustainable future.”

Hyundai provided its first NEXO SUV to the U.S. Department of Energy in 2019. The additional five vehicles will support the Department of Energy through the work to accelerate the progress of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies across a diverse range of applications. This will include work with the Department of Energy’s partners such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as other agencies and stakeholders.

Hyundai and the U.S. Federal Government’s cooperation in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies dates back to 2004, when the South Korean automotive corporation and its affiliate Kia Motors Corporation offered 33 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project.” From 2012 to 2017, Hyundai took part in the U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel cell vehicle confirmation program, which was launched to help validate the performance of emerging hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Canoo partnership

Hyundai and Canoo will jointly develop EV platform based on Canoo’s proprietary skateboard design for upcoming Hyundai and Kia models.

Canoo will provide engineering services to help develop a fully scalable, all-electric platform to meet Hyundai and Kia specifications. The Los Angeles based company creates EVs for subscription only using a skateboard platform which houses the most critical components of the vehicle.

With this collaboration, Hyundai Motor Group doubles down on its recent commitment to invest $87 billion throughout the next five years to foster future growth

“We were highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative EV architecture, making them the perfect engineering partner for us as we transition to become a frontrunner in the future mobility industry,” said Albert Biermann, Head of Research & Development, Hyundai Motor Group.

“We have been working diligently to develop a bold new electric vehicle and partnering with a global leader like Hyundai is a validating moment for our young company,” said Ulrich Kranz, In Charge of Canoo.

Canoo’s skateboard architecture houses the batteries and electric drivetrain, enabling it to reimagine EV design in a way that challenges traditional automotive shape and functionality.

Canoo’s first vehicle will launch in 2021.