Though electric automaker Canoo might not be as well known as some of the bigger players in the EV space, the company has unveiled some pretty quirky and interesting modular designs.
The company's latest, a pod-like spacey pickup was unveiled on Wednesday, March 10, in a press release ahead of the Motor Press Guild’s Virtual Media Day.
"With its thoughtful added features, utilitarian design, and compact maneuverability, this vehicle reinforces Canoo’s mission of creating electric vehicles for everyone on the road or dirt road," the press release reads.
The highest-cost all-wheel version of the vehicle will have around 600 horsepower and will have a 200-mile (320 km) range. The vehicle's payload capacity will be 1800lbs (816kg).
Lower cost versions will be closer to 100 miles of range and feature a single motor in the rear. Tony Aquila, Executive Chairman of Canoo told Reuters that he thinks Canoo will be able to improve the all-wheel pickup's range to reach 300 miles before release.
Canoo's modular pickup is 'bad to the bone'
Canoo's main selling point is the incredibly adaptable, modular design of its vehicles. The pickup's truck bed is only 6 feet (a little under 2 meters) long, though it comes with a pull-out extension.
It features pull-out side sections, an extendable work table out the front, and an optional roof rack for more cargo space. Handy space dividers make it easy to create separate compartments within the bed.
Power outlets (120V and USB) are also featured on the inside of the truck's bed and the storage compartments.
The bed also opens up and transforms the vehicle into a cozy camper shell for outdoor excursions. Spacious cargo spaces at the front and back of the pickup are ideal for transporting tools and materials.
The pickup also incorporates steer-by-wire "and other space-saving technologies", the company's release says, to allow it to "offer a flatbed size comparable to America’s best-selling pickup truck on a smaller footprint."
"We are so passionate about building vehicles that can change people’s lives,” said Tony Aquila in the press statement.
"Our pickup truck is as strong as the toughest trucks out there and is designed to be exponentially more productive," he continued. "This truck works for you. We made accessories for people who use trucks – on the job, weekends, adventure. You name it, we did it because it’s your platform and she’s bad to the bone."
Canoo has already released a "lifestyle" pod-van that looks somewhat like a futuristic VW van and a $33,000 delivery van. The company released these alongside a monthly subscription service for using the vehicles — which currently has a long waiting list, according to Mashable.
Though Canoo is behind mindshare leaders like Tesla in the electric auto space, the EV firm did gain the attention of Apple last year, which at one point considered acquiring the company, as The Verge reported in January.
In Canoo's press release, the company says it will open pre-orders in the coming months with the electric pickup truck expected to be released by 2023 — at which point Tesla's Cybertruck, Rivian's EV pickup, and the electric Hummer should all have hit the roads.
Thanks largely to Tesla's Cybertruck, we know there is definitely a market for aesthetically surprising pickup trucks. Canoo's new offering, however, inverts the Cybertruck's angular design with its curved bubble-like aesthetic — both pickups slightly resemble a child's drawing and we love them for it.