The van-like automobile, additionally referred to as Canoo, might be accessible by subscription solely and won’t be provided on the market, the corporate mentioned.
The Canoo’s design takes benefit of the truth that an electrical automobile does not want area to accommodate a giant engine and a cooling equipment. Batteries are within the ground of the automobile, and the Canoo’s box-shaped physique rides on prime of that flat platform.
“We applied the Bauhaus philosophy, which is centered round minimalism and performance, and began with the discount to absolutely the minimal want,” Canoo’s lead designer, Richard Kim, mentioned in a press release.
The Canoo appears to be like like an equipment on wheels. In contrast to a sporty efficiency sedan, it does not have design components expressing velocity or agility. In contrast to an SUV, nothing about it hints at even slight off-road functionality. Its blunt-ended silhouette is harking back to a traditional VW microbus. The highest of the automobile, from roughly shoulder peak up, is nearly fully glass. Entrance to again, it is barely shorter than a Toyota Prius whereas having way more inside area, the corporate mentioned.
“We name it the post-SUV,” mentioned Ulrich Kranz, Canoo’s appearing chief government, “as a result of it presents a commanding seating place, like in an SUV, and just about the identical area as a big SUV however on a much smaller footprint.”
The corporate is primarily financed by three personal traders Kranz wouldn’t identify, however the firm can be reaching out to different traders, he mentioned.
Inside the brand new Canoo, the rear seats are organized like a sectional couch alongside the again and sides. There are even seats that reach from the again doorways. The rear aspect doorways swing out — like conventional automobile doorways — as a substitute of sliding like minivan doorways. There’s cargo area behind the again seats whereas bigger objects like bicycles will be strapped down within the middle of the passenger space.
The Canoo has absolutely digital steering, which means there isn’t any mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the entrance wheels. As a substitute, steering enter travels electronically by wires from the steering wheel to the driving wheels. This minimizes the quantity of area taken up by steering equipment.
It additionally permits the Canoo to have an oblong steering wheel. Rectangular steering wheels are frequent on idea vehicles however are uncommon on actual manufacturing vehicles as a result of they’re awkward to make use of throughout tight maneuvers like U-turns and parking. A round wheel is far simpler to make use of in conditions the place it must be turned time and again. With digital steering, although, the entrance wheels can flip way more for tight, low-speed manuevers and fewer throughout mild high-speed maneuvers in response to related steering wheel actions, defined Kranz. There’s by no means any want to show the wheel utterly round.
Drivers will use their very own telephones or pill units to deal with issues like music and navigation, and even to manage the automobile’s heating and air con utilizing a downloadable app.
The Canoo may have varied driver help and security applied sciences, the corporate mentioned. It is going to be geared up with an array of cameras in addition to radar and sonar sensors for issues like lane maintaining help, computerized braking and traffic-aware cruise management that slows down for vehicles forward. Like Tesla, Canoo plans to make use of software program updates to enhance the automobile’s capabilities over time.
The subscription mannequin
As a substitute of being offered or leased to prospects, the Canoo might be provided by subscription. Subscribers would pay a month-to-month charge that would embody registration prices, insurance coverage, upkeep and charging prices. Clients would hold their automobile, as with a lease, however they would not need to decide to a set time interval. The corporate nonetheless hasn’t determined how the charges might be structured or what types of plans might be provided.
Subscription packages are an thought which were tried, a minimum of experimentally, by quite a few luxurious automobile corporations together with Volvo, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Whereas interesting in idea, the idea hasn’t been broadly applied up to now.
Canoo plans to associate with a contract auto producer so manufacturing of the vehicles can start in 2021. As soon as the Canoo is in manufacturing, the corporate plans to supply different autos that share its primary engineering however with totally different physique designs, Kranz mentioned. For now, the corporate is targeted solely on the Canoo.