Meet Canoo, The World’s First Electric Subscription-Only Car

If you’re encouraged by the transition to a cleaner future, you’re not alone. Dozens of electric car startups have been working hard toward to goal of electric mobility. Canoo is one of those startups, and they officially announced their first vehicle this week.

Billed as an affordable, spacious, and subscription-only vehicle, the Canoo references the  VW Microbus shape, while remaining defiantly blocky and utilitarian-looking. Indeed, we shared some of the images with our colleagues, and the reaction wasn’t one of beautiful praise. But perhaps the bulbous form will grow on us.


This form factor is the company’s first, but with promises of many various models in the future. And the idea behind subscription is that you’d pay for it on a monthly basis, being able to change models the way you upgrade a smartphone plan. Initial talk of the subscription plan would include insurance and potentially even charging fees, but we’ll see how it plays out.


The interior is where the Canoo begins to get more interesting, with a very open, living room-like design, including a wraparound bench, and modular pegboard like walls, inviting customization. Indeed, the company designed the vehicle specifically to buck the trends of existing car design.

“There is no need for EVs to look like traditional cars, yet today they still do,” the company says. “Instead, Canoo maximizes the unique benefits of EV technology by providing vehicles that have both a very large interior and very small overall footprint, perfect for city use.”


The 250-mile range of the prototype would provide good range, with future versions having much improved batteries. The large, open interior means that the Canoo has the cargo capacity of a large SUV, with a footprint barely larger than a VW Golf. That’s the type of clever engineering we’re interested in.

As technology nerds and optimists, we’re encouraged by the work of companies like Canoo, ushering in a more thoughtful, clean, and holistic transportation future.


The company will start road tests this year, with a planned 2021 launch. Read more on The Verge: