Late last year, Canoo, the Los Angeles-based electric vehicle (EV) builder, introduced its first subscription-only vehicle and first model, the eponymously named “canoo”. The production version of this model is slated for a 2021 launch. While its design challenges traditional automotive shape and functionality, it capitalizes on EV architecture in a way that provides significantly more interior space. Canoo’s creation resulted in this spacious vehicle for a world where transportation is becoming increasingly electric, shared, and autonomous. Also, the company aims to challenge the traditional ways of building, offering, and using vehicles resulting in multiple benefits to the customer.
“Canoo” is an urban loft on wheels conceived through capitalizing on EV architecture, eliminating compartmentalization. With the interior space of a large SUV and the exterior footprint of a compact car, “canoo” holds enough space for seven people. All seating is designed to feel more like furniture than traditional car seats. For example, the rear seats are more like a sofa to lounge on than a cramped and segmented back seat, and the front takes inspiration from mid-century modern chairs.
The company believes in the principle that there is no need for EVs to look like traditional cars, yet today they still do. Instead, Canoo maximizes the unique benefits of EV technology by providing vehicles with a very large interior and a very small overall footprint, which is perfect for city use. The minimalist design gives subscribers everything they need and nothing they don’t, which offers customers a more spacious and intuitive vehicle.
Canoo has developed a proprietary “skateboard” architecture, directly housing the batteries and electric drivetrain. While traditional suspension systems intrude into the passenger compartment, reducing the ability to maximize interior space. The vehicle has a composite transverse leaf spring suspension that creates a completely flat skateboard, enabling maximum passenger space. Also, the skateboard platform design is a self-contained unit that can drive on its own with any cabin placed on top. The skateboard is also set up in a way that it could support a dual, front, or rear motor configuration.
The vehicle utilizes seven cameras, five radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors. These cameras provide surround-view images to the perception system, using deep learning algorithms to perceive the world around the vehicle. On the other hand, the radars provide 360 degrees of sensor data for speed and distance measurement of objects. The ultrasonic sensors provide short-range distance measurements for parking maneuvers. The suite of sensors is class-competitive to other Level 2+ systems. Moreover, Canoo’s central domain controller allows the vehicle to be future-facing.
The “canoo” will be the first true steer-by-wire vehicle on the market without a hardware connection between the steering wheel and wheels. It means the vehicle steers by electric signals only. The system is fully redundant, meeting the highest safety standards and comes with immediate and long-term benefits. Steer-by-wire offers weight savings and paves the way for autonomous driving.
As for its driving distance, the “canoo” has an approximate range of 250 miles (400 kms) and can reach an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes. Its battery pack is fastened directly to the skateboard structure and avoids the redundant structure and space taken up by a separate battery enclosure. The battery provides torsional rigidity to the skateboard and the overall vehicle.
The good news is that recently, the company has officially opened its waitlist, dubbed “The First Wave”. Joining the waitlist is free and open to everyone. Membership is flexible, with a single all-inclusive monthly payment that offers the vehicle, maintenance, registration, access to insurance, and charging on a month-to-month basis. The “canoo” will be launched in 2021 in Los Angeles. Canoo will offer a hassle-free and commitment-free EV membership for one monthly, affordable price and no set end date.
Luxury EV revealed today
Meanwhile, Lucid Motors is set to reveal its brand and reveal the Lucid Air to the world digitally on September 9. This game-changing electric luxury sedan has what it means for the future of sustainable transportation. The design and engineering itself set new benchmarks in the luxury electric car market. Let alone its futuristic exterior design oozing with aerodynamic profiles.
The car’s remarkable look is like a concept design made its way into a production version looking the same, no more no less. Let’s not even set aside its cabin design to give German luxury vehicles a run for their money—plush and futuristic combined in every detail. Lucid Air is the future of luxury. By combining forward-looking design with groundbreaking technology, the Air transcends perceived limitations of space, energy, and time.
Ahead of its global reveal, Lucid Air continues to set new benchmarks. With a charging rate as fast as 20 miles (32 kms) per minute, it is also the fastest charging EV ever offered. In real-world terms, this means up to 300 miles (480 kms) of range in just 20 minutes.
Now that’s impressive. It was achieved with an ultra-high 900V+ electrical architecture, custom lithium-ion battery cells, a highly sophisticated battery and thermal management system, and exceptional powertrain efficiency.
Lucid’s Wunderbox—a unique and innovative onboard charging unit—efficiently combines several functionalities in one package and makes the Lucid Air fully compatible with public charging stations, including an ever-expanding nationwide network of 350kW fast-chargers. The Lucid Air was designed with Combined Charging System (CCS) standards making it compatible with any open DC fast-charging station. Whenever needed, it automatically boosts the voltage to charge at the quickest possible rate at any location.
Home charging is a significant EV advantage, and every Lucid comes with a Lucid Mobile Charging Cord as standard. Customers can also purchase and install a Lucid Connected Home Charging Station, one of the first AC charging stations ever to offer bidirectional charging. It isn’t just a more cost-effective charging method, and it can also use the car as a temporary energy reserve to power homes, including off-grid vacation properties.
Performance-wise, Lucid Air can sprint from 0 to 100 kph in just 2.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of over 200 mph (320 kph). (Story and photos courtesy of Lucid Motors and Canoo)