Canoo, a Los Angeles-based startup, has finally unveiled its first electric car model, and it doesn’t look like anything we have seen before. The car, which has been eponymously named Canoo, is a significant departure from traditional EV designs from other companies. The Canoo looks more like a VW Microbus. It’s not as sporty as the models we have seen from companies like Tesla or Byton. However, despite the “nontraditional design”, Canoo has actually been designed relatively faster. The design and engineering of this model took about 19 months.
The company behind the EV is now getting ready to produce the cars through a contract manufacturer. The startup is confident that the first batch of cars will be hitting the road by 2021. According to Ulrich Kranz, Canoo’s current CEO, two of the main features of this new model are space and value. The company believes that their model offers plenty of both. Canoo has also said that it has stationed beta cars in its Los Angeles location. Customers who want to test out the vehicle can do so there.
The cars are made in the US by an unknown contract manufacturer in Michigan. As soon as the first batch of cars is ready, the company will start selling in Los Angeles with the hope of expanding sales in other parts of the US. Canoo is also going into the market with an entirely new model. Instead of charging a one-time purchase fee for the vehicle, the company intends to offer the cars through a monthly subscription to customers. In essence, this would be more or less a service, not necessarily a product.
Canoo also notes that it intends to include additional perks in the subscription service. Customers are likely to get automatic vehicle registration, insurance, and car maintenance as part of the deal. Canoo notes that the idea is designed to bring a new sense of affordability into the auto market. It’s more like creating a Netflix for cars. Even though the subscription model has not been tried and tested in the market, it could be an interesting approach.
The new EV will have enough capacity for seven people. The car seems to have the interior of a large sports utility vehicle and the footprint of a compact midsize SUV. The seats in the back are also positioned in a semicircular formation against the rear and sides of the car. The front cabin is designed to look like a sofa. The EV comes with a 5-star safety rating with driver and passenger airbags included.
As for the charge, Canoo has a range of 250 miles. The car can be charged 80% in less than 30 minutes. It’s not yet clear how much customers will have to pay for the monthly subscription. However, the company is hoping to make the fee as affordable as possible. Canoo also says that it’s planning to roll out the cars on a city by city basis once they are ready.