Torrance, California electric vehicle startup, Canoo Inc. announces the Canoo electric truck. The level of innovation and utility in the Canoo pickup bed alone is second to none.
The Canoo pickup truck is nothing less than a bold imagination of the pickup truck, both in form and function. The headline may be the all-electric aspect of the Canoo, but the implications of this vehicle on the future of pickup trucks and truck campers are far more compelling.
Above: The must-see launch video for the Canoo pickup truck
The level of engineering detail in the Canoo design is astounding. For starters, this electric truck has the most versatile pickup bed we have ever seen; bar none.
Pickup truck traditionalists will lament its non-standard form factor, but forward thinkers will see an ocean of possibilities brought by the flip-down bed table, side-step with storage, multi-accessory charge port, and the pull-out bed extension.
“We put as much thought into the bed as most companies put into an entire car.”- Tony Aquila, Executive Chairman, Canoo, Inc.
The bed also has integrated overhead lighting and perimeter lighting. Every aspect of the Canoo’s bed appears to be thought out to a level of function and user-focused purpose we haven’t seen before.
Another compelling aspect of the Canoo electric truck design is its modularity.
As you see in the video, the truck can be set up for multiple use cases; from a contractor team that needs to work on-site, to a full-on camper or overland vehicle.
Above: Overland mode
Above: Flip-down bed table
Above: Side-step with built-in storage
The interior seats can be changed from bucket seats to bench seats to a three-seat system. Even the batteries are modular so they can be removed and replaced.
Canoo Electric Truck By The Numbers: Range, HP, and Torque
Canoo is reporting a range of over 200 miles, dual or rear motor configurations, and up to 600 hp and 550 pound-feet of torque. The wheelbase is 112.2-inches. Overall the truck is 184-inches long, 78-inches wide, and 76-inches tall.
The bed itself is 64-inches wide and 72-inches long (6-feet). When the bed extension is deployed the bed is 102 inches (8.5-feet). The bed depth is 21-inches.
Truck Camper Friend or Foe?
Every time a truck (ICE or EV) emerges from a skunkworks lab, we have the same concerns; what’s the bed size and shape, and what’s the payload capacity? Is it a truck camper friend, or foe?
With a reported payload capacity of 1,800-pounds and a six-foot bed, it’s not inconceivable that the Canoo could be an excellent candidate for a lightweight pop-up or hard side camper.
The pull-out tailgate becomes a porch. The built-in power ports and battery system could power an all-electric camper. The pass-through window (shown best in the video) could even be matched by a partnering camper design to allow the elusive Holy Grail of all truck camperdom – a genuine pass-through.
However, the bed size, rail height, and cab dimensions are all non-uniform and would likely require a camper to be built specifically for this truck. That may very well be where this market progresses. More truck-specific designs to accommodate the flood of uniquely shaped trucks emerging from Detroit to Torrance.
The Building Opportunity and Threat
The Canoo pickup is scheduled to go into production in 2023… essentially two years from now.
Right now the truck camper industry is riding high on the unprecedented demand sparked by the pandemic. On the other side of this surge will be the dawn of the electric trucks. From the big three to start-ups like Canoo, Rivian, and Tesla, the electric trucks represent nothing less than a sea change for anything associated with the pickup truck marketplace.
This marketplace sea change might come in slowly, like a rising tide, allowing camper manufacturers to adjust and pivot. Or it might rush in like a tidal wave wiping out those who fail to anticipate and prepare for this future. That’s the nature of technology. It’s disruptive; an enormous opportunity and a perilous threat.
Stepping back from the implications of electric trucks, we are extremely excited about the high level of design innovation represented by the Canoo pickup.
Here’s a company that took to heart the purpose and consumer uses of the pickup truck category (work and play) and designed their product accordingly. Even if Canoo is not a viable prospect for a truck camper, the thinking behind it should be a cause for celebration, and inspiration for every camper and truck designer.
Keep an eye on the Canoo. This one might tip the future.
For more information on Canoo electric trucks, visit their website at canoo.com.