Walmart-backed EV startup Canoo has announced that deliveries of its all-electric commercial van have officially begun – and the first production Canoo LDV 130 vans are already hard at work.
The first batch of Canoo’s electric vans are reportedly in service now at Kingbee, a national work-ready van rental provider. The company says the delivery of vans to Kingbee is consistent with its previously announced “phased ramp-up manufacturing approach,” and asserts that additional customer deliveries will continue throughout 2024.
Canoo had previously delivered vehicles to NASA, the US military, and the State of Oklahoma (its home state) for testing. The vans delivered to Kingbee, however, seem to be the first that will be accessible to “the public.”
“We are proud that an increasing number of our vehicles are on the roads of America, and we are looking forward to our vehicles joining Kingbee and its impressive list of customers,” said Tony Aquila, Investor, Executive Chairman, and CEO of Canoo. “Our vehicles are engineered for service workers, and optimized for safety, reliability, and comfort. This is what distinguishes our vehicles and provides a competitive edge for commercial fleet companies.”
Kingbee placed a binding order for 9,300 Canoo electric vans back in November, with an option to increase that order to 18,600 vehicles at the same price. For its part, Kingbee will upfit, custom wrap, and deliver its Canoo LDV130s as work-ready fleet solutions for use across the United States.
“We are excited for the opportunity to help fleets transition to electric vehicles,” says Scott Haslam, CEO of Kingbee Vans. “Fleets of all sizes use Kingbee as a flexible option for vehicle acquisition, and we’re honored to be among the first to add Canoo to our EV portfolio.”
There are any number of knowledgeable, well-informed people in the EV space who have given up on Canoo – and that’s understandable. Like the now defunct efforts from Lordstown, Proterra, and others, Canoo’s management has cited large orders from well-known companies for years as a “reason to believe.” Canoo’s announcements always seemed to contain the word “binding,” however, and that makes all the difference.
In case you’re curious, Canoo has secured …
- 9,300 orders from Kingbee (with an option for 9,300 more)
- 4,500 orders from Walmart (with an option for 5,500 more)
- 3,000 orders from Zeeba (with an option for 2,450 more)
- 1,000 orders from the State of Oklahoma
… and that’s just what I found before I got bored of looking. Whether or not those orders, combined with Walmart’s investment, will be enough to get Canoo from the starting blocks to mainstream adoption remains to be seen.
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