Canoo (GOEV) finds path to customer deliveries by leasing Oklahoma manufacturing facility


EV startup Canoo has announced a long-term lease of an existing production facility in Oklahoma City, where it will operate a full and final assembly line for its flagship Lifestyle Vehicles (LVs).

Today’s latest entry in the Canoo ($GOEV) saga should come as welcomed news for those rooting for the EV startup whose short, six-year tenure could be described as nothing short of a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.

During its Q4 earnings released last week, Canoo put a $1.5 million bookend on an SEC investigation that alleged that certain former senior executives misled investors in late 2020 and early 2021 regarding the startup’s revenue projections.

With that ordeal behind it, Canoo can focus on reaching scaled production of its LVs and Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles (LDVs) with the $36.6 million remaining cash and equivalents it has as of December 31, 2022.

With an ever-shrinking financial runway in front of it, Canoo continues to get scrappy in order to finally achieve long-promised scaled production in Oklahoma. Today’s news brings the startup a step closer, as it looks to enter its next phase of EV development. Here’s the latest.

Canoo Oklahoma
Canoo’s incoming battery module facility in Pryor, Oklahoma / Credit: Canoo

According to news out of the Canoo pressroom today, it has signed a long-term lease with AFV Partners to use its vehicle manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City, OK. AFV is led by executive chairman and CEO Tony Aquila, who is also the current chairman and CEO of Canoo. Aquila spoke about Canoo’s progress in The Sooner State:

One of the reasons we picked Oklahoma is because it has one of the most amazing workforces in America. They have proven themselves across many industries, including aviation and aero defense, which is why we are excited to announce our second manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City, following our Vehicle Module Manufacturing Facility event on April 5, in Pryor, OK. I want to thank Mayor Holt and the people of Oklahoma City for welcoming us.

To begin, Canoo will occupy 500,000 square feet of the 630,000 sq. ft. site which already offers easy access to road, rail, and waterways, plus plenty of room for expansion on over 120 acres. The newly leased site will help Canoo employ over 500 Oklahomans who will operate the startup’s full and final assembly lines, body shop, paint shop, quality control, and vehicle testing/validation.

The lease in Oklahoma City will join a previously announced battery facility about 150 miles northeast in Pryor, OK – a facility that recently missed a construction deadline that negated up to $10 million in state incentives.

Previously, Aquila said the newly announced Oklahoma operation would allow Canoo to get a much-needed jolt to produce electric vehicles while the factory in Pryor is being built. As a result, Canoo continues to zig-zag along its path toward scaled production, but funding remains a huge factor in its success.

The company reported a net loss of $80.2 million for Q4 2022, totaling a loss of $487.7 million for the year. Looking ahead, Canoo expects operating expenses to be between $55 and $70 million with CAPEX between $30-$45 million in Q1 of 2023 as it enters the next stage of development. According to Aquila, the next phase will be “more focused on milestones versus event-based or just-in-time” that will “lower the cost, make more efficient use of capital, and allow us to focus on long term success.”

In order to stay afloat, CFO Ken Magnet said Canoo is “exploring a number of diversified funding sources,” stating that the startup can now file for options like the Department of Energy’s loan program, now that the SEC investigation has been resolved. Canoo treks forward for now.

Be sure to check back with Electrek for the latest updates.