Nascent EV maker Canoo is using a multipronged approached to producing its new vehicles, building some in the U.S., and others in Europe.
Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila unveiled the plan during the company’s first-ever investor day Thursday. The company, best known for its unique-looking vehicles, will build its multi-purpose delivery vehicle, or MPDV, at a new facility at a new plant in Oklahoma.
Much like a replay of where Tesla would locate its new U.S. plant, it apparently it came down to Texas or Oklahoma. Tesla went to Texas, but the Red River rivalry lives on as Canoo selected Oklahoma. Aquila, told investors today the deal was “head and shoulders” above other places. The new plant will be located on 400 acres of property centrally located between Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dallas, Texas and Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Walmart.
“It’s a business-friendly state and we’re going to bring a lot of jobs,” he said — about 2,000, according to the company. The new location is slated to begin producing vehicles after its completion in 2023.
Headed to Europe
While the new site here will be a new build, Canoo is borrowing a page from the playbook of a few others, notably Fisker Inc., and partnering with a Netherlands-based VDL Nedcar to build its “Lifestyle” vehicle.
VDL Nedcar will manufacture vehicle, which many may recognize as the “original” Canoo, for the U.S. and European Union markets while Canoo builds its “mega microfactory” in Oklahoma. By using the “parallel pathing” method between the contract and owned manufacturing, Canoo will meet its commitment to start production and deliver vehicles in Q4 2022, the company noted.
The Nedcar facility is slated to build up to 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022 with a target of 15,000 units in 2023. The Lifestyle vehicle price starts at $34,750 and rises to $49,950 depending upon which of the three trim levels — Delivery, Base and Premium — a buyer selects.
Pickup truck details
Things were less clear about the pickup, aside from it appears it will be built at the Oklahoma plant. They did tout all of its unique features, such as the extendable bed that is a no-charge item and the sides of the truck bed that fold to be used as tables or as a way to keep tools off the ground — apparently a major source of workplace injuries on job sites.
Aquila repeatedly noted these vehicles were designed after a lot of time and research was conducted. Although something, like the aforementioned folding bed walls, may appear to be quirky or interesting, if it’s on the vehicle, it’s likely there in response to the input the company received.
Another area they did touch on, but not with any real specifics, was how buyers can move from their $100 deposits to picking up the keys on vehicles when they begin to arrive in 2022 and 2023.
“You’ll see the model we have for going to market uses the infrastructure that’s in place but with a different model,” Aquila said, adding he wouldn’t reveal the distribution or “dealer network” plans today.
“We will shortly (talk) about how we will engage with our partners to deliver the vehicles, upfit the vehicles and … how that relationship will work. So we’re not trying to do it all alone, but we want it to be an 80% technology journey. That’s what people want.”