Canoo on Thursday announced deliver of a prototype truck to the U.S. Army, which shows what a production off-roader from the EV startup could look like.
Called the Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV), the electric truck fulfills a contract awarded to Canoo in July 2022, according to a company press release. The single prototype is being used for analysis and demonstration purposes, which will likely determine whether the Army commits to orders for production versions.
The LTV has the same cab-forward configuration as the electric vans and pickup truck Canoo plans to build for civilian use, but with a convertible platform behind the cab that allows the truck to be used as a pickup or flatbed. It has enough space for standard-sized plywood, or things like construction materials or tactical gear, according to Canoo.
An all-wheel drive powertrain provides 600 hp, and both the battery pack and passenger compartment are protected by lightweight Kevlar armor, according to Canoo. The company didn't say how bullet resistant the LTV's large windshield and side windows are, though.
More relevant for possible civilian applications are the chassis modifications. Air springs, a raised suspension, and 32-inch all-terrain tires provide an increased level of off-road capabilities over the standard Canoo vehicles. They also seem easily applied to those civilian models to create electric off-roaders.
Canoo looked bound for failure, but it was buoyed by a large Walmart order for 4,500 electric vans earlier this year—followed by more interest since. In October, Canoo announced an order from fleet-management company Zeeba for at least 3,000 electric vans.
Canoo electric car platform
After several major changes to its business plan, Canoo moved from California to Middle America and now plans to build its vehicles in Arkansas first, before moving to a planned "Mega Micro" factory in Pryor, Oklahoma in late 2023. Canoo had previously been in discussions for contract manufacturing by VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands.
Manufacturing sites aren't the only thing Canoo has changed. Originally it planned a subscription model, but it's since shifted to a fleet focus. Its platform and underpinnings—including a structural battery with Panasonic cells—appear to have carried over in these moves.
Canoo isn't the only one to have interested the Army in EVs. General Motors has also been working on a version of the GMC Hummer EV, called the "electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle," that would bring the Hummer brand back to its military roots.