Let’s break this into two categories: Technology and Business
The MPP (Multi-Purpose Platform)
- The platform is Canoo's most valuable IP. All of their focus and innovation is centered around this. The platform is built with the long-term future in mind, and that’s not just talk.
- It starts with the transverse leaf springs and steer-by-wire technology. The removal of an internal combustion engine and steering column creates the opportunity to maximize interior space. Canoo is seemingly the only EV company that said, “Hey, let’s rethink this.” They removed the “frunk” altogether, pushed the seats forward and created a street-view window. It’s incredibly innovative and in my opinion, overlooked. The maximization of interior space enables Canoo vehicles to have the same footprint and turning radius of a Prius, with cabin volume that competes with the largest SUV’s in the market.
- Better usability in countries with narrow roads (huge TAM and future partnerships).
- Lower manufacturing costs (less materials).
- Canoo is building every one of their components in-house, using vertical integration (source). Their materials are 100% sourced and locked-in (source). Their motor has only 70 parts, is 200 lbs, the size of a small suitcase and churns out 350 hp. They have full control over the chips, codebases, and systems integration. In contrast, other manufacturers in the market source their components from an assembly line of vendors (source). This is important.
- Rapid adjustments can be made in future iterations, as they won’t need to harmonize a multitude of codebases and systems.
- The platform can be integrated with third-party top hats easily. This lends itself to partnerships (more on this later).
- Microchip processors can be difficult to source and can lead to manufacturing delays. Canoo uses less than half the amount of microchips as competitors.
- Cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent, Canoo is designed to protect their customers from these attacks.
- The symmetrical vehicle design creates the ultimate vehicle for future TaaS (transportation as a service). The chassis is controlled electronically, which means the steering wheel can be removed completely. The result would be a taxi that has full wrap-around lounge seating and can travel both directions. Autonomous driving is almost here, and Canoo is ready for it.
- The clean and frictionless codebase of the platform will yield high quality data regarding the performance of their vehicles and consumer habits. This data will create a significant revenue stream, as well as enable them to rapidly improve the performance of their vehicles.
- The platform is built with structural batteries. This means the batteries aren’t a “box-in-a-box” design—the battery compartments themselves serve as the actual structural integrity of the platform. Obviously, this maximizes efficiency. The modular design also allows for integration of new battery technologies as they emerge. The only other company doing this is Tesla.
- Canoo has partnered with Panasonic, who is very strategic and discerning when it comes to partnerships. They only work with the best. For reference, Panasonic is the leading supplier of batteries for Tesla vehicles.
- Canoo battery specs (source):
- 195 Watt hrs per kg (gravimetric energy density)
- 2170 cells, structural battery module concept allows for transition to 4680’s
- These are currently being built into gamma level vehicles
- What makes Apple, Apple? Do their cameras have the most megapixels? Do their batteries last the longest? Nope. Apple is Apple because of their design language and usability. Apple dares to “think different”. They broke the mold of the status quo and have continued to do so through the years. So much of Canoo’s approach reminds me of Apple. All of the things mentioned above and so much more. The headlights themselves are the shape of the logo—that’s never been done before. The symmetrical, linear and minimalist design style is embedded in every component of everything they create. The bed of the pickup truck, the panels in the MPDV, the aero wheels on the lifestyle vehicle—it’s all cohesive and speaks “Canoo”.
- What is Canoo? It’s a car built by people, for people. It’s not going to be the fastest, the longest range, or have the biggest screens. But it’s thoughtful and makes use of every design opportunity in a resourceful way.
- To me, their design style is an ode to the great Dieter Rams, who perfected minimalism and coined the phrase, “Less, but better.”
- Tony Aquila (CEO) talks a lot about the lifespan of vehicles, and EV’s in particular. With EV’s having a drastically longer lifespan than ICE vehicles, designing for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th owners becomes paramount. Hence Canoo’s emphasis on modularity and customization. Things like the pegboard, the extending bed on the truck, etc—they are designing vehicles that can meet the needs of a wide spectrum of people. It's anticipated that Canoo will have a next-level accessories collection (roof racks, tents, attachments, seat configurations, etc).
- Lifestyle Vehicle
- Winner: ZEVAS - Hatchback/Van/Wagon Category
- "Best of the Best" Red Dot Design
- Pickup Truck
- Winner: Oscar of World Car Design
- "Best of the Best" Red Dot Design
- German Awards
- Winner - Pickup Truck - Excellent Product design Passenger Vehicles
- Winner - Pickup Truck - Excellent Product Design Utility Vehicles
- Winner - MPDV - Excellent Product Design Utility Vehicles
- GOLD - Lvl2 Charger - Excellent Product Design, Energy -
- GOLD - MPDV - Excellent Product design Passenger Vehicles
- Special Mention - Lvl 2 Charger - Excellent Product Design, Automotive Parts and Accessories
- Canoo has received a AA ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) rating from MSCI, a category which designates them as an ESG leader in the automotive industry (source).
- Tony Aquila recently purchased 35M shares ($230m) and is planning to buy 18M more shares through AFV partners (his investment company). This has been finalized and filed as a Form 4 by the SEC. He purchased the shares from a Chinese investor, increasing his ownership of the company to ~31% and reducing Chinese influence. (initial speculation) (form 4)
- Canoo has been on an absolute hiring frenzy. They have hired hundreds of new people in the last 6 months (currently 700 employees and 100 contractors). If you look at a breakdown of their staff, it’s heavily skewed towards technology. If you look at some other companies, like Fisker, their staff is heavily skewed towards marketing and their new hires have been stagnant. Canoo has been poaching a ton of high-profile prospects, too.
- Canoo Hires Chief Information Security Officer away from Toyota
- Canoo Hires Strategic Partnerships Manager from Samsung
- Canoo hires Harley Davidson's Director of Legal Affairs for Europe, Canada and Latin America
- Canoo Poaches Lockheed Martin's Manager of Data Systems Architecture, Data Management, Business Intelligence + Data Science (Analytics)
- Canoo Poaches GM's Director of Advanced Design, who also led Design on the Tesla Semi Truck
- Canoo Poaches Hyundai's Senior Exterior Designer
- Canoo Poaches Mercedes-AMG's Director of Market Management for North America and Greater China The management team has scaled to many countries in previous businesses. Ambassador Josette Sheeran, who was hired as Canoo's President, leads the way in diplomatic relations.
- Canoo vehicles are designed for roads around the world.
- Their strategy includes international operations and sales.
- Canoo has announced owned manufacturing facility to be built in MidAmerica Industrial Park, Oklahoma. (source).
- Canoo has announced $400m in state funding (OK / AR) to build their manufacturing facility.
- Canoo and George Kaiser Family Foundation announce partnership to bring software engineering and tech hubs to Tulsa. (source).
- Canoo has $100m pending in sales from OK / AR and corresponding universities. (source).
- Canoo HQ will be located right next to Walmart HQ in Bentonville, AR. Speculation Tons of Walmart execs have been coincidentally posting Canoo content on LinkedIn. There are a lot of rumors floating around speculating that Canoo will supply Walmart’s fleets (example “Do we detect a future deal with Walmart?”). During the ER call, Tony thanked the “great families” of the region when talking about funding manufacturing—the Walton’s are the founders of Walmart and the wealthiest family in the US. (source)
- Walmart has pledged to go fully electric by 2035. With Rivian supplying Amazon’s fleet, how will Walmart compete?
- Canoo’s are highly competitive in price / function.
- Partnership announced with University of Wisconsin (read more)
- There have been leaks by a handful of companies announcing they will be using Canoo for their fleets. FrontDoor Collective and AirAsia are two great examples. FrontDoor Collective announced an order of 10k vehicles and AirAsia released a video showcasing a partnership that has since been made private (source). AirAsia is one of the biggest travel / TaaS companies in Asia.
- Now is a good time to touch on the “big news or no news” philosophy of Tony Aquila. Canoo is tight-lipped about everything they do. Tony has said numerous times that he vows to under-promise and over-deliver. Now that almost an entire year has passed, that has proven to be true.
Ahead of Schedule
- Tony Aquila announced in their Q3 earnings report that they are ahead of schedule for production. They are slated for “before Q4 2022” (source). Every other EV has announced delays. As mentioned above, under-promise, over-deliver. It begs the question, “What else is up Tony’s sleeve?”
- This production will be done in the US at their owned manufacturing facility.
- Production costs have been reduced by $8,000 per unit since the last earnings report (source).
Potential partnership with UPS (source).
The Apple partnership. This is highly speculative, but compelling.
The series of events:
- Apple was in talks to buy Canoo (source) At the time, Ulrich Kranz was CEO of Canoo and Tony was an investor
- Canoo was also in talks with Hyundai to form a partnership and to share IP
- Tony took over as CEO and said nah to both
- Ulrich Kranz recedes into the background
- Earnings report happens shortly after
- Tony announces everything that happened
- Apple deal is off, no more Hyundai, subscription model is scrapped
- Tony values IP and “doesn’t get bought out”
- Stock plummets
- Ulrich Kranz joins Project Titan (Apple car project)
- It’s announced that apple is no longer in talks with Hyundai
- Canoo announces partnership with Panasonic for batteries
- Apple announces they’re in talks with Panasonic
- Radio silence from Canoo, while...
- Tripling their workforce
- Landing $400m deals
- Developing the greatest platform the world has ever seen Platform? Apple still needs one of those
- Hmm... what will the Apple car look like? “It will resemble Lifestyle Vehicle prototypes from Canoo”
- So, what platform will Apple use to build on?
- It will need...
- Seamless integration into top hats
- Impenetrable security
- Autonomous and TaaS capabilities
- Modular structural battery (compatible with upgrades)
- In-house production and full quality control
- Exclusivity of vehicle / passenger data
- Canoo checks all these boxes.
- The speculation is that Ulrich has been working with Apple to integrate the Project Titan top hat onto the Canoo platform.
- There are a lot of small details that align with this—it takes a tin foil hat and a lot of spare time to sift through it all.
One last thing—Canoo may be uniquely positioned for a juicy DOE (Department of Energy) Loan (source).
(Taken from /r/canoo) Source