The two companies have discussed options ranging from investment to acquisition, and it appears that Canoo’s scalable electric vehicle platform is what has greatly captured Apple’s interest.
The platform differs from that developed by other startups and large automakers because it incorporates more car electronics, allowing for greater flexibility in the cabin design.
It also features wire-by-wire steering technology, which also increases design flexibility, which has not been widely adopted in the industry.
And Canoo was more interested in getting investment from Apple, but the talks eventually broke down, andCanoo has since become a publicly traded company after being listed on the Nasdaq in late 2020.
Apple has made at least one other mobility acquisition in recent years, buying Drive.ai in 2019.
News of Apple’s interest in Canoo comes as Reuters reports that the tech company is negotiating with Hyundai to build a self-driving electric vehicle as early as 2024.
Apple’s car project, codenamed Project Titan, has changed several times over the years, but it has now refocused on making the electric autonomous vehicle and has held meetings with small carmakers, like Canoo, and big ones, like Hyundai, as they look to outsource. For things like: technical design and manufacturing.
Canoo was founded in late 2017 by a small group that split from troubled electric car company Faraday Future, including several former BMW executives.
Canoo plans to make commercial electric vehicles such as: delivery trucks or food trucks, as well as a consumer-focused truck that will be sold on a subscription basis.
The talks with Apple came at a critical time for Canoo, which lost $ 182.3 million in 2019 while working on its vehicle prototype and entered 2020 with only $ 29 million in the bank.
Canoo held meetings with a variety of companies from Silicon Valley, China, and elsewhere in 2019 and 2020, and the startup needed short-term funds. As the deals failed to materialize.
And while Canoo now has the money it sought at the start of 2020, that hasn’t dampened its ambitions to work with big companies, like Apple.
In a regulatory filing filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the start-up said: We are currently in discussions with several other industry participants who are owners of major companies interested in leveraging Canoo’s technology and engineering expertise for their commercial products.