Canoo has unveiled what might be the world’s cutest electric pickup truck

Story by Team CV

If the Ashok Leyland Bada Dost strives to unlock the potential that lies in the Indian pickup truck segment with its clever design and global benchmarking, on the international scene, the electric pickup that Canoo has unveiled might be the world’s cutest vehicle of its kind. With no need to house a big engine under a long hood, the Canoo electric pickup truck reflects the thinking of designers that there’s room for more creativity, which should be unlocked and exploited. Getting creative with shapes thus, designers are exploring new ways; new alternatives. If the Tesla’s wedge-shaped Cybertruck could be described as an example of this, the Amazon-backed Rivian, it is no secret, is planning to put a trunk where the engine would normally fit. Unlike a legacy pickup truck manufacturer, Canoo is an electric vehicle startup.





A California-based electric vehicle startup, Canoo is devoid of the baggage a legacy pickup truck manufacturer would carry. This is more or less apparent by the startup’s electric pickup, which has a ‘cab forward’ design. It places the driver almost directly over the front wheels. Some would call it a half van-half pickup, the fact however is, the Canoo electric pickup has a flat front like a van. If it reminds of the Volkswagen Transporter vans of the yesteryears, the Canoo e-pickup facilitates more room for cargo bed by omitting the hood. In the process, it does not make itself look too large overall either. Measuring 184 inches in length, which makes it a touch longer than a Toyota Corolla, the Canoo e-pickup is made interesting by the fact that it has a cleverly designed cargo bed. Shorter than the Tesla Cybertruck, the six feet long cargo bed of the e-truck has an extension that can slide out, providing two additional feet of length. Minus the extension, the cargo bed, when compared to that of the Cybertruck, is only six inches shorter! The up side of the Cybertuck is that it seats more people though.





If the Bada Dost, benchmarked against some of the best performing pickups to emerge out of Japan and Far East Asia, is immensely modular to spring a CNG or electric version, and could have its rear wall removed to turn into a van for ambulance, e-commerce or similar such duty application, the Canoo goes a few steps further in its ability to mould itself to different application needs. The vehicle’s snub-nosed body shape said to be similar to some trucks from the 1950s and ‘60s, like General Motors’ Corvair pickup, the Jeep Forward Control truck and the Volkswagen Type 2 pickup, which was based on the VW bus, the Canoo e-pickup does a good job of dedicating the space unleashed by eliminating the engine. It, besides the cargo bed, allows for more storage space inside the truck. There’s additional storage up front under the cab, for instance. The door that folds down from the front of the truck can also be used as a work table, the same way people often use pickup tailgates. Similarly, doors also fold down from the sides of the cargo bed to allow easier access over there. Those doors can also be used as workbenches. Canoo expects the truck to produce up to 600 hp and 550 pound feet of torque from two electric motors. It is more than a V8-powered Ford F-150 pickup. The truck will be able to drive over 200 miles on a charge, according to the company statement.

In February 2020, Canoo and the Hyundai Motor Co. (HYMTF) announced plans to jointly develop an engineering platform for electric vehicles for use in both Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The startup company previously unveiled two vans, one a work van and another a ‘lifestyle’ passenger van. Both the vans, and the pickup, are based on Canoo’s skateboard-like platform that allows for a variety of body styles. Going public late last year through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, merger and now having a market capitalization of USD 3.4 billion, Canoo has not yet announced the price of its electric pickup truck. It has instead said that it would begin delivering it to customers in 2023. So, it is quite likley that the price would be announced closer to the launch, or as the production begins. Interestingly, besides the Tesla Cybertruck, the Canoo electric pickup truck is expected to face competition by the time it is out. Other startups like Rivian, and the legacu pickup truck manufacturers are certain to up their ante. Ford has already announced that it plans to make an electric F-150 pickup soon.



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