Hyundai has announced it will be collaborating with Los Angeles-based startup Canoo to jointly develop electric vehicles, Reuters reports. This is the second such deal being announced this year by the Korean automaker – in mid-January, Hyundai and Kia had said they were investing US$110 million (RM455 million) in UK startup Arrival to jointly develop electric commercial vehicles.

A spokesperson for the company said the automaker’s partnership with Canoo will work on developing an EV platform based on the American firm’s skateboard chassis for smaller A- and B-segment electric passenger vehicles.

Canoo’s low-rise platform is essentially a flat rectangle housing all mechanical components, bundling the battery and electric motor along with such chassis components as steering, brakes, wheels and tyres. This will simplify build, and make it easier to utilise a variety of body types with the platform.

The American company has already begun development of an EV based on its skateboard chassis, but the model, intended to be marketed to individuals and fleets through a subscription service, isn’t expected to be deployed until 2021.

Hyundai has been investing heavily in a variety of future transportation ventures in the recent past. In September last year, it inked a US$4 billion (RM16.55 billion) joint venture with auto supplier Aptiv to develop self-driving vehicles and systems.

Last May, it paid US$90 million (RM372.2 million) for a stake in Rimac Automobili to work on development of an electric version of Hyundai N’s new midship sports concept car as well as a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle. The investments are part of a major five-year, US$87 billion (RM360 billion) plan to ramp up the automaker’s expertise and activity in electrification, automation and related services.