Canoo this week unveiled a civilian spinoff of the electric pickup truck it delivered to the U.S. Army last year for evaluation.
Dubbed the American Bulldog, the pickup is based on the Canoo Light Tactical Vehicle which, when first shown nearly a year ago, featured dual-motor all-wheel drive and 600 hp, plus Kevlar armor, a raised suspension, and 32-inch all-terrain tires. Prior to that, in March 2021, Canoo showed a civilian pickup with 200 miles of range.
Canoo didn't provide much detail on the American Bulldog, substituting jingoistic press-release jargon. The company claims the pickup "performs like a battleship," a questionable bit of imagery for a relatively compact vehicle design for the Army, designed for a 1,500-pound max payload.
Canoo American Bulldog
The American Bulldog has a four-door quad cab instead of the Light Tactical Vehicle's two-door cab, but rides on the same skateboard platform. The platform incorporates steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems, with a honeycomb design that provides substantial rigidity, Canoo claims.
The truck is 201 inches long, with a 9.2-inch ground clearance and 31.5-inch wading depth. It appears to omit the military version's Kevlar, though.
Canoo now lists the range for the Light Tactical Vehicle as being more than 150 miles from an 80-kwh battery pack, with a 150-kw DC fast-charging time of 34 minutes (likely to 80%).
No production timeline was given. And because the military vehicle on which the American Bulldog is based was itself commissioned only for evaluation purposes, it's unclear if it will see military service.
That might take away some of the marketing sizzle from the civilian American Bulldog, but would still leave an electric for electric truck considerers not interested in the more conventional designs from established automakers—or the form-over-function Tesla Cybertruck. Granted, that's something Canoo's original pickup design from 2021 also promised.
Canoo American Bulldog
A few months after showing that truck, Canoo shifted manufacturing plans from the Netherlands to Arkansas, with eventual plans to make its vehicles in Oklahoma. Walmart gave the company a lifeline in July 2022 when it ordered 4,500 electric vans from Canoo.
The company originally designed its product for a completely different market—focused on California and a subscription model. It then changed plans, focusing instead on commercial vehicles. Canoo had later announced that its $34,750 Lifestyle Vehicle would be the first to arrive, in 2022, but that's been long overdue because of financial difficulties. More recently it's raised the starting price to $39,950.
Meanwhile, other companies have begun catering to the electric commercial-vehicle market Canoo targets. Rivian just this week confirmed that its electric van, at first built exclusively for Amazon, is now available to any fleet customers, but it's still not for personal use.