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Watching vehicle development and testing is always a fun mixture of impressive brutality and stomach-turning carnage. Many car folks are impressed when a new company is willing to show the nitty gritty details of how its vehicles stand up to extreme abuse. While many have been excited to see what the EV startup Canoo is capable of, I don’t think many expected these micro-adventure machines to be tougher than boiled leather. Watch Canoo beat the ever-loving Hell out of the coolest EV soon to hit the market, the Canoo Lifestyle

upcoming Canoo EV Truck
Canoo Pickup Truck | Canoo

How tough is the Canoo Electric Van? 

According to MotorTrend, back in November, at the Leaseplan Virtual EV Summit, Gary Gumushian, Global Vice President of Canoo, explained the safety tech used in developing the Canoo van. 

Gumushian reminded the Summit attendees of the extreme lengths it requires to bring a new vehicle to market. Proving his point, the GVP of Canoo showed the various and brutal crash testing that Canoo put the little Lifestyle through, and the results are simply amazing. 

Not only does Canoo put the van through a less-than-typical gauntlet of battering, but the tech-heavy, nearly-forward control design also makes getting the Canoo safe extra tricky. Gumushian stated, “These vehicles are aimed at five-star ratings.” 

How do car crash tests work?

Agencies like the NHTSA and IIHS have standardized crash tests to which every car brought to market must be subject. However, the video you see of Canoo’s in-house testing is a bit more extreme and extensive than the standard crash tests. You won’t typically see the NHTSA sending cars off ramps, down steep grades sideways, or launched off a roll-over sled into a pit of soft soil. No, it’s fair to say that Canoo’s test video is going for it. 

“We’ve crashed these vehicles hundreds of times; we’ve put them through millions of miles,” Gumushian further elaborated, “in every one of these crashes, the battery was not damaged.”

How did the Canoo do? 

Canoo crash test
Canoo crash test | Canoo

If you watch the video of the crash tests, you might notice a stiffening of the back as you expect to see the cute van roll several times and be completely eviscerated. However, the longer you watch, the more you start to expect to see the little adventure bus triumph over every test, which it does with shocking toughness. 

The most impressive part is how stable and safe the battery is kept in all these horrendous crashes. As we have seen over the past few years, damaged EV batteries can cause violent and difficult-to-extinguish fires that have catastrophic outcomes. Amazingly, Canoo reported no catastrophic battery damage in any of these tests. Not only that, but the bus never once rolls over. How? 

Canoo engineers attribute battery safety to their cleaver frame design which cradles the battery, both protecting it and keeping the center of gravity as low as possible. 

“These tests are a remarkable testament to what our vehicle is able to do,” the VP said. While this video is quite impressive on its own, as MotorTrend points out, we still have to wait and say what the IIHS and NHTSA have to say. I, for one, and crossing my fingers in hopes that the little Canoo blows the tests out of the water. The world is ready for Canoo!