Canoo moves up production launch to 2022
Canoo is moving up the planned US production start in Oklahoma. Instead of 2023, production is to begin before the fourth quarter of 2022. In Europe, Canoo plans to have its debut model built at the Dutch production plant VDL NedCar as early as 2022.
Several media outlets, including Reuters, have reported that the US production start date has been brought forward, citing information from the company. Canoo itself has revealed its location strategy for the USA: the company is moving its headquarters from California to Bentonville in the US state of Arkansas and also wants to set up a small-series production facility for small parcel delivery vehicles and a research and development centre in the state. The latter will be built in Fayetteville.
Canoo is also forging closer ties with the US state of Oklahoma. After the startup announced in the summer that it would locate the plant for large-scale production of its pod-shaped van in the town of Pryor there (production is scheduled to start in 2023), the company now also wants to build new centres in the state. This includes centres for vehicle and software development, customer support and financing. All facilities together are expected to create around 2,700 jobs in Oklahoma.
Canoo wants the announcements to be seen as a contribution to the transformation of the corridor along Route 412 from Oklahoma through Arkansas into a centre for electric vehicle research, development and production. According to Reuters, Canoo CEO Tony Aquila has said that purchase commitments have been made in return in the regions where the new facilities will be built: “We’re seeking about $100 million worth of vehicle orders … where we locate these facilities.”
Canoo’s core business so far has been the development of an electric skateboard with various body options. According to Aquila’s strategy, Canoo will no longer sell these to other carmakers but will primarily focus primarily on selling its own vehicles to fleet operators. The first model will be a van called Lifestyle Vehicle.
The start-up currently has branches in California and Texas. In Europe, VDL is to build the first Canoo model. The plan is to build up to 1,000 units in 2022 and 15,000 units in 2023. By building contracts and in-house production in parallel, Canoo aims to deliver on its commitment to start production and deliver the vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2022, a company statement said in June. “The strategic partnership with VDL Nedcar will allow us to bring vehicles to market while we build our factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with the VDL Groep companies,” Aquila said at the time.
It’s been just under six months since Canoo first announced prices for its 2019 Lifestyle Vehicle. Depending on the variant, it is expected to cost between $34,750 and $49,950. As mentioned above, the company expects a market launch in the fourth quarter of 2022. Canoo has not yet given any final data on the drive system. As “expected specifications”, the company continues to give 220 kW of power, 450 Nm of torque, a range of 400 kilometres and battery power of 80 kWh.