The EV automaker now has the cash to splurge on new model development.
Canoo is an EV manufacturer that has been around since 2011. There hasn't been much news to report on as other EV brands continue to dominate the news cycle by claiming outrageous power figures and upsetting the Feds.
While all this has been going on, Canoo has slowly been plucking away, building a pickup and an MPV that look remarkably like Pokemon characters. Along the way, it lost a significant investment deal with Hyundai, though Apple has been sniffing around for a possible collaboration.
Now things are looking up again as Canoo joins Ford and GM subsidiary, Brightdrop, to build Walmart's EV delivery fleet.
In a recent press release, Walmart said it would purchase 4,500 Canoo Lifestyle Delivery vehicles for last-mile deliveries. Canoo is expected to begin production of these vehicles later in 2022, and they'll hit the streets in 2023.
Walmart chose Canoo because it's an all-American company that built the Lifestyle Vehicle specifically for this application. Thanks to Canoo's unique design, which integrates batteries directly into the modular platform structure instead of in a sealed enclosure underneath the floor, it can pack a lot of cargo into a tiny footprint.
To understand how huge this is for Canoo, we need to look at Walmart's previous orders. It ordered 5,000 EV vehicles from GM and 1,000 from Ford. Canoo is already publicly listed, and its shares shot up by 53% within a few hours of the announcement.
Thanks to Walmart, Canoo is back in business and arguably a rival to Rivian. The latter struck a deal with Amazon to provide a 100,000-strong fleet of EV delivery vans, though it's still struggling to get the R1S SUV out the door.
"We are proud to have been selected by Walmart, one of the most sophisticated buyers in the world, to provide our high-tech, all-electric, American-made Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle to add to their impressive logistics capabilities," Tony Aquila, investor, chairman and CEO of Canoo. "Our LDV has the turning radius of a small passenger vehicle on a parking-friendly, compact footprint, yet the payload and cargo space of a commercial delivery vehicle. This is the winning algorithm to seriously compete in the last mile delivery race globally. Walmart's massive store footprint provides a strategic advantage in today's growing 'Need it now' mindset and an unmatched opportunity for growing EV demand, especially at today's gas prices."