Canoo electric delivery vehicle aims to upset Rivian and Ford

EV startup Canoo has revealed its full-electric delivery vehicle, aiming to sell the zero-emissions van from 2022 priced from $33,000. The Canoo MPDV – or Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle – is based on the US automaker's own, proprietary skateboard electric platform, and is expected to offer EPA range of up to 230 miles, depending on configuration.

Canoo made headlines back in 2019, when it unveiled an EV intended for subscription use, rather than outright ownership. The pod-like electric minivan could seat up to seven, and was to be based on the automaker's own platform that combines the batteries, electric drivetrain, and steer-by-wire system.

On top of that, Canoo suggested, it could mount different types of body to suit different purposes. It proved enough to get Hyundai's attention, with the two companies announcing a deal earlier this year to collaborate on the skateboard TV platform.

The MPDV will be Canoo's own product, however. Intended to go into limited availability in 2022, with scaled production and a launch in 2023, the EV promises lower running costs as well as more flexibility than traditional gas or diesel vans. Indeed, Canoo calculates that owners could see between $50k and $80k improvement on return on capital over 6-7 years, compared to the current popular delivery vehicles. It'll pit Canoo against both electric upstarts like Rivian, which is partnering with Amazon for a huge EV delivery fleet, and industry behemoths like Ford which has an all-electric Transit in the pipeline.

Canoo currently has three versions of the EV in mind. The MPDV1 is the smallest, a Class 1 vehicle that's 14.4 feet long and 6.2 feet tall, so as to fit into height-restricted areas. It'll have up to 1,80 pounds of payload, and up to 80 kWh of battery capacity, with a single 200 hp electric motor delivering 236 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. Canoo expects it to drive between 130 and 230 miles, battery pack depending.

The Canoo MPDV2 is taller, at 8.4 feet, and is suitable for walk-through use. It's also longer, at just over 17 feet, and rated for up to 1,760 pounds. With the same electric motor driving the front wheels, it has between 90 and 190 miles of EPA estimated range, with nearly 6.5 feet of interior height throughout.

Third – and arriving later – will be the MPDV3. That, Canoo says, will be larger still, and fall into the Class 3 truck category. Canoo is also open to building custom versions of the MPDV, for larger customers such as delivery fleets, retailers, logistics companies, and others.

Canoo has a number of different areas where it thinks its design offers advantages. There's bi-directional onboard charging, for example, allowing the batteries to be used instead of a mobile generator for worksite tools, while the cabin is designed to also function as an office space. There's the flexibility to use roll-up style doors, ramps that slide-out, or even a bank of storage lockers on the side, while both the MPDV1 and MPDV2 have a 17-inch step-in height.

The EV platform has a steel frame construction, transverse composite leaf springs, a double wishbone suspension system, variable ratio steer-by-wire, and brake-by-wire. There's also full cellular connectivity, and Level 2.5 driver assistance tech; Canoo argues that, by virtue of its steering and braking systems, once more ambitious autonomous driving systems are ready for deployment, they can effectively be loaded into the EVs to transition to self-driving.

DC Fast Charging will support taking the battery from 20-percent to 80-percent in 28 minutes, depending on battery size. Canoo expects to sell the vans in the US first, before expanding elsewhere. Those onboard can stake a place in line with a refundable $100 deposit.