Reports released in the Wall Street Journal in April 2021 surfaced that Apple had met with electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo in early 2020, but talks broke down quick.
Canoo’s all-electric vehicles, in comparison to other automakers, provide a simplified range of customization options. The model designed by the Los Angeles-based automotive startup also opens up potential collaborations with existing and emerging mobility services companies such as ride-hailing and car sharing services.
Little is known about what transpired between Apple and Canoo, but talks appear to have broken down shortly after they began.
Background on Canoo
Canoo is an electric vehicle startup that had been in talks with Apple in early 2020 before any agreement fell apart. The company was founded in 2017 by Ulrich Kranz, Stefan Krause, and Carsten Breitfeld, and is based in Los Angeles, California.
Canoo brings together a diverse team of engineers and business veterans, offering a high-tech approach to electric vehicles.
Canoo is a startup electric vehicle (EV) company based in California that was established in 2017. Led by CEO Ulrich Kranz, the company aims to create a flexible subscription model for cars and transportation with its customizable, highly-modular electric vehicles.
The cars are designed with accessibility and ergonomic features for seniors and those with disabilities. Through customizable features such as seating requirements, maneuverability, second row chairs and autonomous operation, Canoo seeks to provide accessibility and convenience to all types of users.
Canoo has secured $1 billion in venture capital investments and raised an additional $300 million through an initial public offering on the NASDAQ earlier this year. However, the company has yet to start commercial production of its EVs and only makes prototypes available to select partners across the United States.
In addition, Canoo has over 500 employees, including engineers, designers, planners and sales experts dedicated to making the platform’s vision a reality.
Products and Services
Canoo is an electric vehicle startup based in Torrance, California. Founded in 2017, the company aimed to “push the boundaries of EV innovation” and provide customers with an affordable and sustainable all-electric transportation solution. Canoo plans to offer a broad range of transport solutions from passenger cars to commercial vehicles and mobility solutions.
Canoo’s signature product is its modular, practical Electric Utility Vehicle (EUV). The EUV features an open interior design with two tiers, allowing for standing room and three-times the standard cargo capacity of a conventional sedan. It also has a range of 130 miles on a single charge and a swappable battery system which pumps more amplifier into the system allowing for increased power output. In addition, its unique design gives it exceptional maneuverability while eliminating drag that would reduce its range. Canoo also plans to produce goods carrier vehicle models and leisure and service options ideal for seniors or persons with disabilities.
Moreover, Canoo services augment their products by offering consumers free over-the-air software updates to keep their vehicles up-to-date along with access to customizable subscriptions that are tailored to meet individual needs; ranging from monthly payments to pay-per-miles plan options from annual fixed rate packages as well as comprehensive driving safety bundles which cover emergency assistance private repair services along with road side help if things go awry on the roads.
Apple Met With Electric Vehicle Startup Canoo in Early 2020, But Talks Fell Apart
Reports have recently surfaced that Apple held talks with electric vehicle startup Canoo in early 2020. These talks aligned with Apple’s plan to launch an electric car by 2024.
Although Apple and Canoo were thought to have discussed a potential partnership, the talks reportedly fell apart before any official agreements were established.
This article will explore Apple’s interests in Canoo and why their talks didn’t work out.
Apple’s EV Ambitions
Apple has long been rumored to be interested in the electric vehicle market. Those rumors were further bolstered when it was revealed that the company had met with Los Angeles-based startup Canoo in early 2020. Canoo is a company founded in 2017 whose core product is a small electric vehicle platform that can facilitate rapid prototyping, testing, and development of electric vehicles.
The two companies reportedly discussed opportunities for Apple to use Canoo’s platform in its electric vehicle ambitions, but talks fell apart shortly after. While neither Apple nor Canoo have commented on the meetings publicly, sources close to the matter have revealed that Apple was looking for access to premium components and technology from Canoo and did not want to invest in the startup outright.
It is still unclear whether or not Apple will use any elements of Canoo’s technology or platform for their own EV project. However, it suggests that the company may be serious about moving into the electric vehicle space soon. With more EVs entering the market every day, it remains to be seen whether Apple will eventually become a major player in this rapidly evolving space or simply remain an interested bystander.
Meeting with Canoo in Early 2020
In early 2020, Apple and Canoo, an electric vehicle startup based in Los Angeles, California, held a series of meetings to discuss potential collaboration. These meetings aimed to explore the possibility of working together on an electric vehicle design and advanced manufacturing. Both companies acknowledged their interest in collaborating on such a project at the onset of their meetings; however, no concrete plans were made during the meetings and talks eventually fell apart.
It is unclear why Apple and Canoo failed to agree after their initial contact. It is possible that Apple ultimately chose not to pursue any collaborations with Canoo due to concerns about potential liability or intellectual property concerns if they were to go forward with joint development efforts on an electric vehicle design. Additionally, given that Apple is well known for placing a high emphasis on confidentiality when launching new products or services, it is possible that both parties could not reach consensus on adequate measures required for sharing confidential information between their respective organizations while discussing with one another.
Negotiations Break Down
Apple and electric vehicle startup Canoo held a series of negotiations in early 2020, the talks fell apart. Both companies wanted different things and could not agree on a common path forward.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why negotiations between the two companies did not succeed.
Reasons for Breakdown
In early 2020, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, Industrial Design Director Richard Howarth and Product Design VP Alan Dye met with Canoo Inc., an electric-vehicle startup in Torrance, California. Although negotiations between the two parties initially seemed promising, the talks eventually fell apart.
There are multiple reasons why an agreement between Apple and Canoo could not be struck. One factor may have been disparities in technological capabilities — notably. At the same time, Apple is an established technology giant that has made significant advancements in the self-driving car market over the last few years, Canoo is still a relatively young company lacking the resources needed to quickly become a major player in autonomous vehicles. Another possible explanation is diverging visions for car development — while Canoo focuses on developing modular “skateboard” chassis that use unique “lidar boxes” to enable low cost production of its vehicles, Apple might have had different objectives. Finally, a lack of synergy between companies may also have played a role; it has been reported that certain executives at Apple found their counterparts at Canoo to be difficult to work with during negotiations.
Impact on Canoo
The news that talks between Apple and electric vehicle startup Canoo had broken down immediately impacted the latter’s share price. The stock nosedived more than 15% as investors reacted to the disappointment, resulting in a significant dip in market value.
In addition to the short-term financial implications, Canoo was forced to reappraise its plans to produce and distribute its next-generation vehicles. Having estimated that a strategic partnership with Apple would have provided additional capital and an accelerated journey towards series production, the start-up was forced to readjust their plans to continue independently.
Canoo is not alone in having faced difficulties as an independent player in this rapidly expanding market. It is well known that many of its competitors rely on joint venture partnerships and/or deep pockets for investments; things which it can no longer count on at this stage of its development. Moving forward, Canoo will likely need to prioritise adaptive strategies such as identifying new funding sources, recalibrating cost management objectives and establishing innovative product portfolios if it will stay competitive within this volatile space.
It is uncertain whether talks between Apple and Canoo are ongoing or have definitively fallen apart. However, if the talks are still in progress, an agreement between the two companies may be reached soon.
Regardless, it has become increasingly clear that Apple is serious about entering the electric vehicle market and exploring multiple potential partnerships and acquisitions. With the rapid development of electric vehicle technology, we can expect more news from Apple regarding its entry into the EV market in 2021.