Los Angeles, California–based EV builder Canoo announced the opening of a waitlist for its first vehicle. Interested parties can add their name to the waitlist to be a part of the “First Wave” of customers receiving one of the company’s first vehicles when deliveries kick off in late 2021.
At launch, Canoo will not be selling its first vehicle, simply named the canoo, but leasing it instead through a new single payment ownership program that includes the vehicle lease, all scheduled maintenance, registration, and charging. Offering the vehicle to customers through a payment program that keeps the ownership of the vehicle with the company is one step closer to the pricing model of the future, where customers will no longer need to own a vehicle, but simply subscribe to a robotaxi network for a flat fee per month or per mile. Admittedly, the canoo will not be capable of autonomous driving at launch, but that is clearly a part of the roadmap for the future.
“When we revealed our subscription-only canoo vehicle back in September, we were overwhelmed with the positive response we got from consumers. Now we are excited to offer our community the opportunity to sign up to ride The First Wave with us,” said Ulrich Kranz, In Charge at Canoo. “As part of our all-inclusive, hassle-free and commitment-free car experience, people can join the waitlist in a matter of seconds with no obligation.”
The looks of Canoo’s vehicle stands out as a clean-sheet design that takes a bold step forward to create the transportation solution of the future. “Canoo is disrupting one of the most traditional industries in the world so it should come as no surprise that we are doing things differently with the incentive program.”
Customers who sign up in the First Wave on the waitlist will have the opportunity to improve their position on the waitlist and earn exclusive swag by referring others to the program. It’s a unique take on the automotive referral program popularized by Tesla, where significant prizes could be earned by referring more and more people. The Canoo system will let waitlisters earn points for successful referrals and the completion of surveys.
The canoo is slated to launch in late 2021 as part of Canoo’s city by city rollout, bringing the vehicle and all of the associated services to support it across the US following demand. Kranz told me last week when I visited the company’s headquarters that the bulk of interest in electric vehicles in the US was concentrated in a handful of cities. Accordingly, the rollout plan will concentrate on cities with high demand, leaving the bulk of the Midwest out of the picture until the point where demand changes.
The plan is very logical and will let Canoo focus on building out the necessary support one block at a time, but is sure to get messy as early customers move, head out on road trips, and subject the early vehicles to the rigors of the real world. That’s all in the future. In the meantime, Canoo is working to finalize the design of the vehicle with an eye towards production next year.