EV maker Canoo gets big financial boost


Canoo, the electric vehicle startup that moved its headquarters to Bentonville, Arkansas and plans a manufacturing plant in northeast Oklahoma reached a deal this week to produce nearly 5,500 vehicles for Zeeba, a growing national fleet leasing provider.

The agreement was for production of 5,450 American made EVs with an initial binding commitment of 3,000 units through 2024. Zeeba will add Canoo Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles (LDV) and Lifestyle Vehicles (LV) to its long-term fleet leasing portfolio.

The announcement came just a few months after the head of the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma, where Canoo plans the plant, indicated unfavorable economic conditions might slow construction.

Chief Administrative Officer David Stewart told an August meeting of MAIP board, “It is in delay mode, but that’s for a number of reasons.”

Originally, leaders of Canoo indicated the plant could be operational by 2024 and eventually be capable of producing 300,000 EVs a year. It is unclear how the Zeeba agreement might speed up construction of the plant.

In announcing the new purchase agreement, Zeeba said Canoo’s EV design will help the company provide “client-specific configurations” that can be tailored over the lifespan of the vehicle.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver Canoo vehicles to our customers in the near future. We are focused on offering the most advanced fleet solutions and have recognized Canoo’s vehicles as leaders in technology driven sustainable mobility. We also wanted to secure EV vehicle supply for years to come,” said Kayvon Marashi, chief executive officer for Zeeba Automotive Group, Inc.

Texas loses to Oklahoma on electric vehicle company Canoo's 'mega-factory.' The power grid cited as one reason

“We have a large committed, growing order book, are finalizing our multi-year allocations for 2023 customer deliveries and will share our manufacturing plan with the broader market shortly,” said Tony Aquila, Chairman & CEO at Canoo.

“This order is another milestone validating our product and strategy. Small & medium sized business (SMB) are the backbone of our communities, employing about half of all working Americans1 and they are Zeeba’s target customers. We put technology first and combined class leading ergonomics, a small vehicle footprint-to-cargo ratio and platform versatility while achieving a lower carbon footprint and higher return on investment for the operator, all of which will help SMBs compete.”

Canoo announced last year it was moving its headquarters from Texas to Arkansas and creating the manufacturing plant in Pryor, Oklahoma. The state of Oklahoma helped with financing and tax breaks to help Canoo with the move.

Canoo has teams in California, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Zeeba is a company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Zeeba is a Fleet Management company that provides their diverse customer base with services that allow them to more effectively and efficiently conduct business operations.  Zeeba’s product lines include full-service van, box truck and pickup truck rental/leasing, service & maintenance, and used vehicle sales.