In July, Canoo won a $67,500 U.S. Army award to create a “new light to heavy duty Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or series-hybrid electric wheeled vehicle, for Government analysis and demonstration.” The Texas-based startup just delivered the resulting Light Tactical Vehicle prototype to the U.S. Army. Based on the pickup the company debuted last year, the LTV has been upgraded to go further, carry more, and endure more abuse. Air springs replace the transverse leaf springs, redesigned control arms provide a slight lift and increase suspension travel, 265/65 19 mil-spec Goodyear Wrangler knobbies add a touch more ground clearance and trail capability. The dual-motor powertrain makes 600 horsepower.
Carbon kevlar panels over a slightly modified Canoo chassis add ballistic protection, details like the spare tire mounted between the bed and cab are intended to be another deflection point for bullets aimed at the cab. The pickup gates flop down to create a flatbed area that can hold two pallets, anchor points running around three sides. The gear tunnel doors — a la Rivian R1T — double as steps to the pickup bed. Decked-out infantry enter the spacious cab through large, tall doors. The passenger gets a flat space ahead for gear or peripherals like drone controls.
The military will be testing several electrified and EV programs throughout 2023, from the Abrams Main Battle Tank to this Canoo and a raw Ultium battery platform from General Motors. Canoo also has the wheels turning at NASA, the U.S. space agency recently tabbing the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle to convey astronauts from the launch center to the launchpad for the Artemis mission to the moon.
In civilian use, Canoo scored a sale and a lifeline when Walmart ordered 4,500 delivery vans this summer; before that, Canoo wasn’t sure it had enough money to last the year. With the construction of a production facility and a battery plant in Oklahoma, plus plans to build 20,000 delivery vans and Lifestyle Vehicles by the end of next year, there’s a chance the rest of us can get in a Canoo soon.