Is This Netflix for EVs?
Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! Today, we will be talking about a new subscription based EV service called Canoo.
Above: Canoo's car
I'm not sure if you could class this as a car, it's more like an electric mobility service. The company is called Canoo. They are based in California and they’ve just opened up their waitlist. But if they don’t sell cars, then what exactly are people waiting for?!
Well, Canoo are still going to make their own cars but their products aren’t for sale so they aren’t a traditional car manufacturer in that sense. Instead, their cars can be leased on a monthly fee which will include the costs of maintenance, insurance, registration and charging of the EV. Sort of like Netflix for cars. If you’re a Canoo member then you’ll be able to subscribe for the period that you need the vehicle, there’s no contract lock in period or set end date. That’s pretty convenient, especially if you only need a vehicle for a short period of time like when your car is at the panelbeaters!
Above: The futuristic dashboard of the Canoo car
Canoo are essentially a tech company so they’ve taken a game like approach to their first offering. Their waitlist is called ‘The First Wave’ and subscribers will earn points based on answering surveys and the amount of referrals they do. These points can then be redeemed to boost the person’s place in the waitlist and earn some prizes from Canoo themselves. That’s pretty cool! Just imagine if Tesla had done something like this with their waitlist for the CyberTruck. Though, I wouldn’t put it past Elon! Well actually, some could say that Canoo took inspiration from Tesla. The Silicon Valley automaker has a referral system in place which rewards people who spread the word about Tesla’s cars or products like their chargers. If your mates go ahead and actually buy Tesla’s products then you get Tesla points, there’s no real name for them so far so we will call them Tesla points for now. Anyway, these Tesla points can then be redeemed at Superchargers, claimed as discounts on vehicle prices along with snapping up passes to Tesla events. Then there’s the added bonus. You will go in the draw to win a Tesla!
Above: Could Canoo make this subscription model a success?
Like the in wheel motors by REE that we featured a while ago on the blog, this subscription-based model for EVs has been tried and tested before but hasn’t worked as a success so far. Hyundai was planning a similar approach for their Ioniq electric car but put an end to that in late 2018. Amazon backed Rivian are also looking at the possibility of offering their R1S and R1T EVs through a subscription-based program as well but we will wait to see what comes of that.
Anyway, back to Canoo. What is their vehicle of choice?! Well, they haven’t got a name for it yet but it’s a decent sized van-box thing. It’s drag coefficient is nearly the same as a brick wall. We’re only joking. Canoo’s concept vehicle has an estimated range of just above 400 kilometres and it produces 300 horsepower! That’s a quick brick. The company is rather new as it was founded in 2017 but they are no slouch, their current plans include a launch for their vehicle sometime next year! It’s certainly going to be an interesting model and by then, we will know more about how the exciting Rivian R1T is going to be sold.