Arkansas Business reports on the announcement by Canoo, a startup electric vehicle manufacturer, that it will move its headquarters from California to Bentonville and build a small production facility for electric-powered delivery vehicles. It also will establish a research arm in Fayetteville.
Might Walmart be a target for sales? Canoo isn’t saying, though the retailer has announced various pilot projects exploring the use of self-driving electric vehicles, including smaller vehicles for home deliveries.
Some 500 people are expected to be employed in Arkansas, Canoo said. From AB:
Canoo said Monday’s announcement is “part of transforming the U.S. Route 412 corridor from Oklahoma through Arkansas into a center of electric vehicle research, development and manufacturing power.” In June, the company announced plans for a electric vehicle manufacturing plant at the MidAmerica Industrial Park near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
An article in The Verge mentions some of the wrinkles faced by the company in its evolution.
Founded in 2017, Canoo was originally called Evelozcity. It was started by a handful of executives and employees who left fellow EV startup Faraday Future, which was dealing with a severe cash crunch at the time. Canoo was initially focused on creating an electric van that it planned to sell on a subscription model, and at one point was in talks with Apple regarding an acquisition.
The company is currently losing money and said it is cooperating with an investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission.
The company, according to The Verge, said it hopes to begin making vehicles sooner than expected through a contract manufacturer.
If this EV corridor DOES get off the ground, maybe the legislature will rethink the confiscatory $200 car tag it has placed on EVs. But if I know this legislature, though the Walmart fleet might get a break, the biscuit cookers who fire up their cars with a plug won’ be so lucky. They’ll have to be content with being trickled on.