Canoo Unveils World’s First Subscription-Only Electric Vehicle

Canoo Unveils World's First Subscription-Only Electric Vehicle

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/

Canoo , the Los Angeles based company creating electric vehicles (EV) for subscription only, has unveiled today its first model, simply called canoo. The design challenges traditional automotive shape and functionality and capitalizes on EV architecture in a way that provides significantly more interior space. Canoo created this spacious vehicle for a world in which transportation is becoming increasingly electric, shared and autonomous. Canoo Reveal Canoo Design Exterior Canoo Design Interior In less than 19 months since Canoo started, the company has achieved a major milestone by designing and engineering its first model, which is ready to present to the public.

“We believe that the potential of EV architecture can enable a post-SUV era that addresses the ever-growing desire for space and value,” said Ulrich Kranz, In Charge at Canoo. “We promised a truly different approach for EVs, and our canoo proves that we can deliver on that vision. The unveiling also kicks off the period of beta testing, meaning we are on track for our launch date in 2021. We are very proud of the team. In my 30 years’ experience, I have never seen so many quality achievements in such a short time.”


Canoo is challenging the traditional ways of building, offering and using vehicles resulting in multiple benefits to the customer:


Canoo believes that there is a better solution than traditional car ownership. Currently, consumers are forced to go to a dealership and spend time at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to register their vehicle. Additionally, they must deal with ongoing hassles like insurance, maintenance and repairs. And finally, the vehicle’s value drops immediately as the owner drives off a dealer’s lot.

Instead, Canoo will free its customers from the burden of ownership by offering a hassle- and commitment-free EV subscription for one monthly, affordable price and with no set end date. The subscription may include services such as registration, maintenance, insurance management and charging—all from a single app. Canoo brings the convenience and affordability of the well-known month-to-month subscription model to the car industry, providing consumers with the convenience and value they deserve.


There is no need for EVs to look like traditional cars, yet today they still do. Instead, Canoo maximizes the unique benefits of EV technology by providing vehicles that have both a very large interior and very small overall footprint, perfect for city use. The minimalist design gives subscribers everything they need and nothing they don’t. Canoo offers customers a more spacious and intuitive vehicle.


The canoo is the result of a completely re-engineered vehicle design, eliminating wasted space throughout the vehicle and providing exceptional utility to the user. By capitalizing on EV architecture, the canoo eliminates compartmentalization and comes across as an urban loft on wheels. With the interior space of a large SUV and the exterior footprint of a compact car, the canoo holds enough space for seven people. All seating is designed to feel more like furniture than traditional car seats. For example: The rear seats are more like a sofa to lounge on than a cramped and segmented backseat, and the front takes inspiration from mid-century modern chairs.

“Cars always have been designed to convey a certain image and emotion; however, we chose to completely rethink car design and focus on what future users will actually need. Thus, we came up with this loft-inspired vehicle,” says Richard Kim, in Charge of Design at Canoo. “When you subscribe, you think differently about a car – now the value is defined by the user benefit. We implemented the Bauhaus philosophy, which is centered around minimalism and functionality, and started with the reduction to the absolute minimal need. Next, we applied that approach to the seamless connectivity with the personal devices customers care most about – their phones.”


Canoo has chosen a minimalist approach for the user interface to provide Canoo subscribers with an experience comparable to a connected home. The user brings their own device, which is naturally personalized, intuitive and secure. Therefore, the non-driving features such as navigation, music or heating can be controlled via phone or tablet to be consistent with the user’s daily connected life.

Canoo has developed a proprietary “skateboard” architecture, directly housing the batteries and electric drivetrain. All of Canoo’s vehicles will share the same underpinning and different cabins or “top hats” can be married on top to create unique vehicles. Leveraging the same fixed and flat skateboard allows for reduced research and development costs, efficient production and a better use of interior space.

The vehicle and skateboard are designed for an overall five-star safety rating. The skateboard houses the most critical components of the vehicle with a strong emphasis on functional integration, the premise that all components should fulfill as many functions as possible. This helps reduce the total number of parts, skateboard size and weight.

While traditional suspension systems intrude into the passenger compartment, reducing the ability to maximize interior space, Canoo has a composite transverse “leaf spring” suspension that creates a completely flat skateboard, enabling maximum passenger space.

Whereas other companies need a cabin to be secured to a skateboard for it to drive, Canoo’s skateboard is a self-contained unit which means it can drive on its own with any cabin placed on top. The skateboard is also set up in a way that it could support a dual, front or rear motor configuration.


Users want a vehicle that keeps them safe. Canoo aims to build a better driver assistant. Canoo is one of the first companies to integrate two commonly used technologies—advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and Driver Monitoring—to enable the car to better protect the driver from roadside distractions.

The vehicle utilizes seven cameras, five radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors: The cameras provide surround-view images to the perception system, using deep learning algorithms to perceive the world around the vehicle.

The radars provide 360 degrees of sensor data for speed and distance measurement of objects.

The ultrasonic sensors provide short range distance measurements for parking maneuvers.

The suite of sensors is class-competitive to other Level 2+ systems. Moreover, Canoo’s central domain controller allows the vehicle to be future facing. Our driver assistance features will only improve as the technology evolves.

The combination of steer-by-wire (see below) and ADAS provide the foundation on which unique autonomous vehicles can take full advantage of the possibilities of space with Canoo’s skateboard.


The canoo will be the first true steer-by-wire vehicle on the market without a hardware connection between the steering wheel and wheels. This means the canoo steers by electric signals only. The system is fully redundant meeting the highest safety standards and comes with immediate and long-term benefits. Steer-by-wire offers weight savings and paves the way for autonomous driving. We have complete freedom to locate the steering wheel to suit any cabin design and driver position. It also leads to a more responsive and smoother driving experience. Since steer-by-wire eliminates the need for a mechanical connection, there is more freedom to arrange the interior space of the vehicle to provide customers with exciting new vehicle options.


The canoo has an approximate range of 250 miles (EPA rating) and can reach an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes. The Canoo battery pack is fastened directly to the skateboard structure and avoids the redundant structure and space taken up by a separate battery enclosure. The battery provides torsional rigidity to the skateboard and to the overall vehicle. Since battery modules are directly mounted in the skateboard, the skateboard has more than one function as it also serves as the battery box.

The parts inside the battery module also serve multiple purposes in order to reduce the number of parts and to eliminate redundancies. For example, the Canoo cold plates serve to cool the batteries, hold the batteries and increase the stiffness of the skateboard. The skateboard architecture also allows for future models to leverage the same battery pack.


Since early 2019, the company has been testing separate parts of the vehicle technology for engineering and production validation. Immediately after the unveiling, Canoo kicks-off a beta testing period in which all functionalities and components are tested together in a fleet of custom-built canoo validation vehicles. During this time, Canoo’s development engineers will evaluate the interplay of all parts and systems in Q4 of 2019, before the focus will change towards launch and production. Further, the beta-built will be significant proof of the industrial maturity of the product.

After the official unveiling today at its headquarters, Canoo will present its vehicle to the public at two events on a Southern Californian tour:

The Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice, California, on September 29: Amidst eclectic boutiques and artisan eateries, future subscribers will have the chance to encounter the canoo and learn more about the brand’s philosophy at the Canoo lounge throughout the day.

The Car Classic at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California on October 20: This year, ArtCenter’s annual Car Classic One of A Kind: Vehicles that Stand Alone features unique, custom, specially built vehicles including early coach-built cars, custom hot rods, concept cars, bespoke supercars and specially modified vehicles from all eras—classic to modern to concept—that represent the finest examples of original automotive design.

Los Angeles will be the launch market for the canoo, starting in 2021. Interested subscribers can expect to learn more about Canoo and gain insight into the company’s philosophy on reimagining the automotive industry, making EVs affordable, and having a deeply rooted customer-first mentality.


Canoo is a Los Angeles based company creating and offering unique electric vehicles (EV) for subscription only. Canoo’s first vehicle will launch in 2021 and was designed for a world in which transportation is becoming increasingly electric, shared and autonomous. Canoo is challenging the traditional way of building, offering and using vehicles based on a threefold approach:

A new business model that focuses on reducing production and infrastructure costs to make EVs more affordable to customers. A bold design capitalizing on the space EV technology affords, catering to the needs of today’s consumers. A subscription model that puts an end to ownership, providing a hassle- and commitment free car experience in modern cities.

Founded in December 2017 by a group of experienced automotive engineers and executives, the Canoo team has since been complimented by various experts from successful tech and car companies. Today, Canoo has grown to around 400 team members – covering the entire value chain, bringing together a unique EV with a unique business model for a unique user experience.

For more information, please visit and follow us at @canoo on Instagram & Twitter.

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