Canoo Unveils Electric Delivery Van a Week Before Going Public

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Canoo Unveils Electric Delivery Van a Week Before Going Public

A week before going public, the Los Angeles electric vehicle startup Canoo, valued at $2.4 billion, unveiled the company's second vehicle, a delivery van.

The modular vehicle is the latest entrant in the commercial delivery market, driven by a combination of growing ecommerce and tighter regulations on carbon emissions. Canoo, which has yet to produce a commercial vehicle, expects the vans to be available by 2022, but scaled production is slated for the following year.

There's increasing competition. This summer, California set new rules demanding automakers sell more electric trucks and vans by 2024, jumpstarting a race among legacy car companies like General Motors, Ford and a number of startups to produce vans and trucks for commercial customers like UPS and FedEx.

Canoo's vans come in two sizes and are designed for small businesses and large last-mile delivery companies. Prices start at $33,000. Delivery fleets or major corporations and logistics companies can also custom build their own vehicles since the Canoo relies on "a skateboard platform" like a trailer bed where the engine is held. Interchangeable shells can be created for the body.

Photo Courtesy of Canoo

Earlier this year, retail giant Amazon debuted its electric van produced by rival Rivian. The Irvine-based company is slated to produce 100,000 delivery trucks over the next decade for Amazon as it seeks to have a carbon neutral footprint by 2040.

Canoo was founded in 2017 by two former BMW executives. They landed a deal with carmaker Hyundai Motor Group in February to manufacture their car. In January, the company opened a waitlist for its futuristic-looking minivan that drivers can book through a subscription service. That vehicle is set to launch by the second quarter of 2022.

Canoo said it's also looking to launch the delivery van across markets like Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Meanwhile, stockholders from Hennessy Capital Acquisition will vote next week to approve the proposed merger. If the deal goes through, Canoo Inc. is slated to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol "GOEV" between Dec. 21 and 23.

"Since announcing the transaction, Canoo has seen substantial growth in consumer demand and significant interest from potential partners in its proprietary market leading EV platform and underlying technologies," said Daniel Hennessy, CEO of the special acquisition company.

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Good News Piles Up for VinFast

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Slate grey Vinfast car

VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle startup with headquarters in Singapore and Los Angeles, is gathering serious momentum in the United States. In the last 7 days the company has announced a partnership with Taiwan-based solid state battery company ProLogium, opened 6 stores in California, and secured $1.2 billion in incentives for a manufacturing plant in North Carolina.

The partnership with ProLogium comes in the form of a memorandum of understanding, and an investment from the EV hopeful valued in the “tens of millions” of dollars. The memo outlines a business structure that gives VinFast priority to purchase ProLogium’s solid state battery packs and ancillary technology.

ProLogium will produce the solid-state batteries in one of its Asian manufacturing facilities, and—if all goes well—the batteries could be available in VinFast electric vehicles by 2023. A successful partnership could put VinFast on pace to be the first EV manufacturer with solid state battery tech in their cars.

The battery’s technical specifications have not been released —but solid-state technology offers myriad advantages over traditional lithium-ion architecture. Benefits include faster charging, better thermal properties, and potentially higher range. If the company can deliver on a 2023 timeline, they may be the first to market, ahead of hopefuls such as QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Mullen. The race is on. Stay tuned.

VinFast opened six stores this week in California, with locations in Santa Monica, San Mateo, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and the Bay Area. The showrooms are stocked with the company’s first two EV’s, the VF 8 and VF 9. Why the numbers start at 8 is anyone’s guess, but the VF 8 is a 5-seat AWD SUV with an expected range of just over 300 miles and a price tag starting at $40,700. The VF 9 is a full-sized SUV with 3 rows of seating, a max range of 369 miles, and a base price of $55,500.

VinFast showrooms will also likely serve as a forum for the company to explain its confusing battery leasing program. Yes, in addition to the sticker prices listed above, buyers will need to lease the battery packs for their cars. As Forbes reported:

The basic plan comes in at $35 a month for the VF 8 and $44 for the VF 9. Motorists will get up to 310 miles of free use each month. Motorists who go above that will pay an additional 11 cents per mile for the VF 8 and 15 cents with the VF 9. An alternate, all-you-can-drive plan will run $110 a month for the VF 8 and $160 for the VF 9.

VinFast’s good week was capped by the announcement that the company had secured $1.2 billion in incentives from the state of North Carolina to build a factory in Chatham County — the largest economic incentive package in state history. VinFast is planning for the plant to cover 2,000 acres, allowing for production of up to 150,000 vehicles per year. Construction is scheduled to start before the end of 2022 and production may come online as early as July 2024.

Feds Investigate Tesla Crash that Killed Retired California Couple

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Interior view of Tesla car

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Lompoc, CA retirees Mary Lou Seelandt, 66, and her husband, Karl Seelandt, 67. The couple died July 6 at a Florida rest stop after their 2015 Tesla plowed into the rear of a parked semi.

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