How many more electric vehicle manufacturers will come to light in the near future? We don’t know the answer but when an interesting one pops up we’ll take a look. This is the 2021 Canoo, and it’s not a paddleboat. It’s also not a slick Porsche Taycan or Tesla super sedan. It’s a mono box transporter on a skateboard platform.
Yeah, we know the skateboard platform deal is not novel. But what is novel about the Canoo is the way it will be sold. Actually, how it won’t be sold. Canoo is using a subscription model as a means to get everyone into a Canoo. But it’s also a means to sidestep some of the dealer franchise problems Tesla has experienced in certain states.
You won’t be able to buy a 2021 Canoo
Instead of buying a Canoo you’ll just pay a monthly fee. No downstroke nor long-term contracts. Volvo started such a subscription service last year until dealers revolted. That’s the other advantage of the subscription deal.
Since it’s an involved, lengthy, and costly process to set up dealers Canoo can provide vehicles without them. And when it comes to servicing them Canoo also has that covered. According to Forbes it plans to partner with existing service providers like rental car companies or dealers service groups. These types of organizations already handle fleet service management, so this is just another source for revenue in a game they already play in.
As for the Canoo itself, it’s powered by a single 300 hp motor at the rear. It utilizes an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery similar to the Tesla Model 3 layout. Though not called out Panasonic, Samsung, and LG all make EV systems like this. Canoo is shooting for a 250-mile range with DC fast charge to 80% in under a half-hour.
Canoo’s wheels pushed out to the ends gives additional interior volume
Because it is electric the Canoo has pushed its wheels out to the ends of the body for a cool look. It’s also practical. It allows the interior to seat seven passengers comfortably with 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space left. The total interior capacity is 168 cubic feet of volume.
The body panels are plastic attached to a steel framework to the beltline. Above that are large glass panels for the scenic bus feel. Hopefully, it won’t act like a microwave to passengers inside.
The Canoo won’t have a dash or instruments
The dash is spartan and there’s a reason. The Canoo intends for the driver to access his or her phone to monitor things inside and outside of the Canoo. In back are lounge-style seats in addition to folding seats attached to the side doors. Special airbags are being developed for the passengers sitting in these auxiliary seats.
The safety and automation system will include seven cameras, five radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors. An active driver monitor system will keep tabs on the driver.
Outside vendors will handle assembly initially
To keep initial startup costs at a minimum the Canoo will be manufactured by an outside vendor beginning in 2021. All Canoo vehicles will initially be built in the US. Once expansion occurs other sites like China will also get factories to handle Canoo assembly.
It will be worthwhile to try out a Canoo for a time once it becomes available since you’ll have no skin in the game. Use it for a month or two and see if it works for you. If so you can continue the subscription. If not, you can turn it in without any obligation. Why not?