Canoo, the electric automaker that went public last year, is expanding its presence in the United States with the intention of establishing its headquarters and a state-of-the-art industrialized manufacturing facility in Bentonville, in Arkansas, the city best known to be linked to Walmart.
âThis is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will allow us to produce vehicles for unique use cases and speed up our gamma testing,â Canoo and Chai CEO Tony Aquila said on Monday. âWe are looking for ways to take away the traditional method of marketing and that will produce vehicles that we will sell as well. “
Aquila said the engineering, design and material sourcing for its gamma platform are complete and the company is in the final stages before production. During the call for results, Canoo released a video demonstrating the progress of its gamma build, alluding to a specific anonymous partner that the company produces vehicles for in the United States. Canoo plans to build 120 to 150 of these vehicles, and “some of them will be in the hands of potential partners,” Aquila said.
Canoo also announced that Panasonic was its supplier of batteries and other expansion plans during its third quarter earnings call on Monday, including the creation of technology hubs in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas to support R&D in electronics, powertrains, battery, vehicle engineering and testing, as well as expanding operations at its first US plant in Oklahoma, which is currently under construction. Canoo also announced a software development center in Tulsa and a customer support and finance center in Oklahoma City, and said it will continue to focus on engineering and vehicle design in California.
“Combined, these facilities are expected to employ up to 1,200 people providing higher education and jobs in the region,” Canoo and Chai CEO Tony Aquila said on Monday.
In addition to news about the expansion, Canoo said it was ramping up production of its lifestyle vehicle from early 2023 to start before the fourth quarter of 2022.
Earlier this year, Canoo made dual manufacturing announcements. The startup has appointed Dutch company VDL Nedcar as a contract manufacturing partner for its lifestyle vehicle. VDL Nedcar will manufacture the vehicle for the US and EU markets while Canoo will build its US-based mega micro-factory. Canoo had previously estimated that the Nedcar facility would build up to 1,000 units in 2022 for the US and European markets, with a target of 15,000 units in 2023. Aquila increased that figure in August to 25,000 units in 2023.
The company announced in June that it plans to build its first plant in Oklahoma. At the time, the state had committed $ 300 million in non-dilutive financial incentives to support installation and Phase 2 manufacturing. On Monday, Aquila said the state had added an additional $ 100 million in non-dilutive financial incentives, bringing the total to $ 400 million.
âOur discipline continues to be Big News or No News. Therefore, we will accelerate our advanced manufacturing production in the United States to begin before the fourth quarter of 2022, âAquila said in a statement, adding that the company was targeting approximately $ 100 million in vehicle orders with the States and the universities where it has its facilities.
The Oklahoma plant will now include centers for R&D, software development, customer support and financing, according to the company.
Financially, the company reported a net loss of $ 80.9 million in the third quarter, about quadruple the $ 23.4 million in losses it reported in the same period l ‘last year.