I have been hearing bits about this other California EV startup; Canoo for a while. With their announcement this last week of a compact pickup model, I decided it was worth a closer look.
Like many folks looking for a more utilitarian EV, when Tesla trotted out their Cybertruck, my first thought was that I wanted one. Followed shortly by recognizing that it is a monster truck and I am already offended by all the monster trucks on the road, especially when used as commuters. Just don’t see any practical advantage to them being so huge. Conspicuous consumption, more like.
The divorce from traditional exterior design, on the other hand, is just fine, if in the interest of gaining other advantages. For the Cybertruck, those other advantages are focused towards manufacturability and durability. For Aptera the focus is hyper efficiency and a completely different paradigm of manufacturability.
Canoo has also pitched notions of traditional exterior design. All three of their announced vehicle designs are bricks, if maybe at least compact bricks, so aerodynamic considerations are pretty low on their list of priorities. Manufacturability seems to be centered around their common, ultra low profile skate board. Still trying to wrap my head around the cabin designs though. The near complete removal of a dashboard allowed by the steer-by-wire system just looks too weird. All the other open space inside the cab seems excessive too, though at least in the pickup one can imagine stuffing all kinds of tools and gear in there.
The pickup does score a lot of points for utility though. And it is a compact electric pickup. That’s worth a lot in my book.
Aptera first, for sure. 98% of my driving is my long range commute and similar errands so that’s a no brainer. But when it is time for a new pickup...
The one other thing about the company that has me scratching my head is their notion that getting one is a subscription rather than a purchase. Hard to get past the paradigm of maybe subscribing to services but still buying durable goods. Reminds one of the EV1 fiasco too. Guess we’ll see how that all turns out.