Los Angeles-based startup Canoo recently debuted its first-ever EV, which it eponymously calls the Canoo. Unlike other EV manufacturers such as Rivian, Fisker, and Byton, Canoo is taking a different route by creating a van in the same mold as Volkswagen’s Microbus. Canoo finished the design and engineering of its first vehicle in just 19 months and is ready for production by early 2021.
Canoo is slated to become the world’s first subscription-based EV
Apart from the unique design, Canoo is aiming to become the world’s first subscription-based electric vehicle. The goal is to eliminate the astronomical costs of buying an EV by putting everything under a simple monthly subscription model. In other words, Canoo will offer a simple monthly fee with no commitments and no set end date. According to the company, membership (and not ownership) is the future of mobility.
The monthly subscription fee not only includes the actual vehicle. Also inclusive are maintenance costs, automatic vehicle registration, insurance, and charging fees.
Canoo offers enough room for seven people to lounge in absolute comfort
Canoo EV may look like a van, but it’s riding on a compact platform. The vehicle offers enough lounge room for up to seven passengers with the compact footprint of a small car. The front seats are arranged like a sofa while the rear seats are arranged in a semicircular formation against the rear and sides of the vehicle. The loft-style interior is unique in the segment and is probably the only vehicle to offer such quirks.
Canoo EV is built using a skateboard architecture
If this sounds familiar, then you’re right. Rivian was the first to use a skateboard platform in the R1T electric pickup truck. The same principle holds true in the Canoo EV. This means the electric motors and battery are positioned in a flat chassis under the cabin to create more interior room. This also means Canoo can equip their EV with either one or two electric motors in the front or rear of the vehicle. In fact, Canoo said all of their vehicles will have the same base with different cabins to create new vehicles for various applications.
It has a true steer-by-wire system
The very first Canoo EV also benefits from an ingenious steer-by-wire system. This means steering inputs are processed using digital electric signals with zero physical hardware connections between the front wheels and the steering wheel. This system gives Canoo engineers the flexibility to locate the steering wheel in any location inside the vehicle while also reducing weight.
Canoo EV is good for 250 miles of range
According to Canoo, their first EV has a range of 250-miles and can replenish the battery pack to 80-percent in less than 30 minutes. The first Canoo EV is also a safe vehicle having accumulated a five-star safety rating using a plethora of airbags inside the cabin. Since the battery is resting on the chassis of the Canoo, the vehicle also has the highest torsional rigidity among new-age electric vehicles.
Canoo will launch their vehicle in 2021
While Canoo is yet to divulge the actual cost of their rental service, the company aims to launch the vehicle in Los Angeles by 2021. This will be followed by additional rollouts in eight U.S. cities, with four in the West Coast and an additional four cities in the East Coast. After launching in the U.S., Canoo is also planning to introduce the subscription service in China.
While this may all sound well and good, only time will tell if Canoo’s subscription-based service will succeed in the future. However, we applaud Canoo for coming up with a different type of EV that prioritizes space and value over styling and top speed.