Californian start-up Canoo will launch an electric ute for tradies, complete with powered workbenches, room to store tools and a modular expandable bed by 2023.
Known as a pickup truck in the US, the unusual-looking workhorse features a bully cabin with a convex windscreen to provide plenty of headroom and was debuted at the US-based Motor Press Guild’s Virtual Media Day in collaboration with Automobility LA.
Canoo, which became a publicly-listed company on the NASDAQ in 2020 with a $3.3 billion valuation, has been developing an electric skateboard platform with which to offer a diverse range of vehicles designed to suit a variety of applications.
In this case, it is a ute for tradespeople, helping to blow apart the myth that a transition to electric vehicles would put workers in a conundrum.
In fact, as Canoo demonstrates, electric vehicles can even be better for tradies because they are able to provide a source of power for worksites without the need for a generator.
“We are so passionate about building vehicles that can change people’s lives,” said Tony Aquila, executive chair of Canoo, in a statement.
“Our pickup truck is as strong as the toughest trucks out there and is designed to be exponentially more productive. This truck works for you. We made accessories for people who use trucks – on the job, weekends, adventure. You name it, we did it because it’s your platform and she’s bad to the bone.”
While it doesn’t appear to have a definite model name yet, the Canoo tradies ute will apparently offer a great combination of specifications and design features.
While it doesn’t state the battery size, it will according to Canoo offer more than 320km range and a payload capacity of more than 800kg.
With 447kW power output from dual motors and 745Nm torque, there’s plenty of power to use the tow hitch (although Canoo notes it will only come with a receiver as standard).
Cool features designed with the tradie in mind include extendable worktable and cargo storage, pull out extension tray and flip-down sides in the back that is also fitted with a modular design to fit space dividers to stop cargo rolling around when driving.
A multi-accessory charge port for up to four devices and an optional roof rack – which can be used to accommodate a variety of camper shells – complete the picture.
As for the roomy cabin which is designed for maximum visibility, it has two seats in the front as standard and a rear compartment that can be customised with an additional two seats or for use as purpose-built storage.
Durability is also front-of-mind for Canoo, which says it has increased the size of the wheel spats to support larger wheel and functional bumpers which have integrated two hooks and metal skid plates on both front and rear.
Canoo has also done away with the need for a logo by incorporating it into its headlight design, as with its lifestyle van and multi-purpose delivery vehicle.
As if this weren’t enough, Canoo says it will reveal full specifications closer to launch. It is not known at this stage if it will be made available in Australia.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.