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EV startup Canoo has just announced the price it will ask for its “lifestyle van.” Somehow, starting at $34,750 seems like a chum more than a price. Combine the blue sky price with Canoo being under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and we start to wonder. Is Canoo for real or not?

Canoo has seen some negative news as it announced starting van prices

Canoo Adventure van lifted kicking up dirt
The Canoo EV Adventure van | Canoo

Canoo is one of those EV manufacturers getting startup money through a SPAC. The shares of Canoo stock have tanked 66% since December 2020. It has seen a slew of executives leave the company including both founders Stefan Krause and Ulrich Kranz. And it is a defendant in two separate class-action lawsuits brought by shareholders. 

This past quarter it lost $15.2 million. Its quarterly losses have lessened, but combined with all of the turmoil surrounding Canoo it announces a cheap price for its core product, the EV van. Somehow it seems too cheap and too good to be true. 

Canoo joins Nikola and Lordstown being investigated by the SEC

Canoo camper van in forrest
Canoo camper van | Canoo

CEO Tony Aquila says that the SEC probe is only an obstacle. “EV SPACs are now facing some near-term headwinds, including the SEC’s interest in determination on how warrants are treated,” he said to Automotive News. He’s referring to the Nikola Corp. and Lordstown Motors SEC investigations also being conducted. 

Canoo is taking deposits for the van at $100 each. Of course, Tesla has had a similar program for new, unreleased vehicles. While the announced $34,750 is the base price, a maxed-out van can run just shy of $50,000. But even that seems too cheap to make money off of. 

Canoo says that four versions of the van will be made. One of those, the “Adventure” version, will have a lifted suspension and “a more muscular profile.” But overall, since Aquila took over the company has begun focusing more on commercial sales. At one time Canoo planned on selling its products through a subscription model. Apparently, that idea now seems to be fading from the overall Canoo picture. 

So far there are no concrete plans for production

Canoo pickup in forrest
Canoo pickup | Canoo

The modular chassis underpinning the van is also used for the Canoo pickup truck and delivery commercial van. Those two models won’t see production until at least 2023. No means of manufacturing has been announced which poses another question mark around the venture.

Canoo signed a contract with Hyundai last year to build EVs for them. But Hyundai pulled out of that agreement not long after it was announced. So taken as a whole the negative news coming out of Canoo and question marks about production are overshadowing whatever else it is accomplishing. 


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