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Canoo repurposed its bubbly electric pickup truck for the US Army

Struggling EV startup Canoo has delivered its first electric pickup truck to the US Army for “analysis and demonstration.” The company’s Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) is built on the same platform as Canoo’s Duplo toy-looking EV prototype truck that was first revealed in 2021.

Back in July, the army announced that it had awarded Canoo a $67,500 contract to produce a “new light to heavy duty Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or series-hybrid electric wheeled vehicle, for Government analysis and demonstration,” according to the original solicitation.

Canoo, which was founded in 2017 by two former employees of Faraday Future, has developed several EV concepts, including a multipurpose delivery van and an electric truck. The company is also working on a lifestyle vehicle, which was chosen by NASA to transport astronauts to the launchpad as part of the Artemis mission to the Moon.

The LTV is a modular vehicle that can be transformed into several configurations

The LTV is a modular vehicle that can be transformed into several configurations, including a flatbed truck, cargo-carrying vehicle, or mounted with racks, ramps, storage boxes, tents, or tactical systems. Canoo says the LTV is engineered for “extreme environments and includes stealth configurations,” using carbon kevlar for strength and durability.

“The LTV is another milestone proving the power of our technology and how it can be used, even in tactical situations,” said Tony Aquila, chairman and CEO of Canoo, in a statement. “This is a winning algorithm for our customers and company.”

The all-wheel drive vehicle’s drivetrain can put out 600 horsepower, with air springs, a raised suspension, and 32-inch all-terrain tires to build higher ground clearance suitable for extreme or rugged conditions.

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Whether Canoo will get the green light to put the LTV into production is a decision that now rests with the army. The company’s future may depend on securing a lucrative military contract given its current financial dire straits. Earlier this year, Canoo issued a warning that it was possible it would soon run out of funds if it was unable to secure new investments. The company’s stock is currently trading at slightly more than $1 a share.

Canoo was founded in late 2017 when former BMW executive Stefan Krause left then-struggling EV startup Faraday Future. Krause and some of the other executives who co-founded Canoo — which was then called Evelozcity — were sued by Faraday Future for poaching employees and allegedly stealing trade secrets, though the lawsuit was settled in late 2018.

The automaker has several EVs in the works, including the MPDV, a multipurpose delivery van, and the Canoo Pickup Truck. The toyish truck showed just how far Canoo is willing to push the design of the microbus-style vehicle it first debuted back in 2019, which it originally planned to sell on a subscription-only basis.

The company has shed executives, reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company’s merger with a special purpose acquisition company, and filed a lawsuit to recoup profits made by a significant investor with ties to China. Late payments and missing parts also plague Canoo’s production schedule, according to a report from Fortune.

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