EV startup Canoo's perspectives didn't look to good two months ago, when the company admitted in its Q1 2022 financial report that it was running out of money.
But the company's situation appears to have taken a sudden turn for the better as Walmart has committed to purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from Canoo, with the option to extend the order to 10,000 units.
This is quite an unexpected lifeline for Canoo, which will first supply its Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV) to Walmart to be used for delivering online orders, from groceries to general merchandise. The vehicles may also be used Walmart GoLocal, the retailer's delivery-as-a-service business.
While the LDV is expected to enter production in Q4 2022 and start customer deliveries in 2023, the two companies plan to kick-off advanced deliveries to refine and finalize vehicle configuration in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex in the coming weeks.
Built at Canoo's Oklahoma factory, the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle features a cabin and customized cargo space that are optimized for sustainable last mile delivery use cases. It is built on a proprietary multi-purpose platform (MPP) architecture that integrates the motors, battery module and other critical driving components.
Thanks to steer by wire technology, the LDV features fewer moving parts and reduced cabin intrusion, resulting in more usable interior space, better driving ergonomics and the addition of a panoramic window to improve road visibility.
Canoo says the LDV is engineered for high frequency stop-and-go deliveries and speedy vehicle to door drop-off, including grocery and food/meal delivery. The customized interior is designed for small package delivery, with its modular design and 120 cubic feet (3.4 cubic meters) cargo volume being able to adapt to customer needs.
“We are proud to have been selected by Walmart, one of the most sophisticated buyers in the world, to provide our high-tech, all-electric, American made Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle to add to their impressive logistics capabilities. Our LDV has the turning radius of a small passenger vehicle on a parking friendly, compact footprint, yet the payload and cargo space of a commercial delivery vehicle. This is the winning algorithm to seriously compete in the last mile delivery race, globally.”
Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo
Shares of Canoo jumped more than 50% in trading at market close on July 12 after the Walmart announcement. The purchase agreement is not Walmart's first for electric vans. In early 2022, the retail giant also committed to buying 5,000 electric vans from GM’s BrightDrop and 1,100 E-Transits from Ford.