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Canoo Picks Its Next Strategic Partner

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June 2, 2021—Canoo, a California-based startup developing electric vans and trucks, as well as a wide range of electric vehicle applications has announced a strategic new Midwestern partner. 


The startup and the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in creating an electric propulsion research center on campus. 


The center’s work will be focused on accelerating advancements in EV technology while working to reduce the technology’s burden on finite natural resources and lower the overall expense of owning an EV, according to a release. Canoo plans to bring its first vehicle, a minivan with a 250-mile range, to market with a base price of $35,000. 


"We are launching a multi-university research and development program designed to further critical research and catalyze innovation to support the manufacture of electric vehicles. This program will enhance U.S. competitiveness and benefit the entire industry while simultaneously advancing our IP," Canoo chairman and CEO Tony Aquila said. "We are committed to our first research center with UW-Madison to drive groundbreaking advances in electric vehicles—advances that enable us to execute on our mission to bring EVs to everyone."


UW-Madison’s College of Engineering is expected to lead the effort on behalf of the university.


The collaboration is a strategic move in that the University of Wisconsin–Madison is already making strides in the development of future automotive technology. 


The University was named a designated AV Proving Ground by the U.S. Department of Transportation back in 2017, providing a wide range of environments for application testing, including lab-based and simulated environments, closed tracks, the UW-Madison campus, and public roads.


And Oliver Schmitz, the College’s associate dean for research recently told the Wisconsin State Journal that Canoo initiated the partnership in part because of the University’s evolving work on EV and autonomous vehicle development. 


“They were impressed by our research capacity as well as our student body,” Schmitz told the outlet. “They were compelled to approach us.”


University researchers are already working to improve battery efficiency and reduce reliance on limited resources like hydrogen.

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