The first electric truck has yet hit the market, but that hasn’t stopped the competition from growing rapidly.
On Thursday, California EV startup Canoo unveiled an all-electric pickup concept hours after pictures of the vehicle leaked on Reddit. It will launch in 2023, well after the GMC Hummer and Tesla Cybertruck are set to go on sale, but if its design is any indication, the EV should have no problem standing out.
While the rest of the competition has opted for aggressive designs meant to convey strength and durability, the startup has gone in the opposite direction. The compact pickup’s pod-like shape is sleek and modern. It also features a rare cab-forward configuration that gives the vehicle a playful, almost toy-like vibe. But it’s not all fun and games, either. There’s plenty of functionality to the design, like a pull-out truck bed (which extends in length from six to eight feet), fold-out work surfaces and integrated side storage. There will also be add-ons that will allow you to turn the pickup into a camper or van. The camper shell looks as if it will include a roof-mounted tent, according to renderings.
On the technological side, the startup wasn’t ready to fully detail the truck’s powertrain, but what it mentioned certainly sounds promising. The EV will be available with either a single- or dual-motor configuration, according to a press release. The latter setup will offer all-wheel drive and will deliver 600 horsepower, 550 ft lbs of instant torque and tow a payload of up to 1,800 pounds. Range is fine, if not spectacular, at 200 miles per charge. No word if that estimate factors in any kind of towing, much less the maximum payload.
At 15.3 feet in length, Canoo’s pickup should offer more precise control than its larger peers (the Cybertruck is 19.25 feet long, while the Hummer EV is 18 feet long). Also, sure to improve the vehicle’s handling is promised steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire technology. The computer-driven system promises to provide more precise control for both tasks. Another feature that caught our eye is a tow hitch receiver that can charge external devices while only sapping the battery of 10 percent of its juice. Whether you’re camping or driving to work, it’s easy to see how that option could be helpful in myriad situations.
“This is like no truck you’ve ever seen,” the company’s executive chairman Tony Aquila told Reuters. “It’s the size of a Ford Ranger, can take the payload of a full-sized pickup and (has) the turning radius of a Prius.”
As intriguing as Canoo’s truck sounds, there is one downside: It won’t be available until 2023. By that time, the Cybertruck, Hummer EV, Rivian R1T and the Lordstown Endurance should have all been on the market for a year or even longer. Still, it sounds like the startup is confident that the truck will eventually carve out its own niche among the field—so confident, in fact, that Canoo will start taking reservations for the EV this summer.