Canoo receives a lifeline from Walmart after relocating its headquarters to the retailer’s backyard
Walmart has arrived to save Canoo, an ailing EV manufacturer. It comes in the form of a very helpful order of 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from the big box retailer/e-commerce behemoth, with the option to purchase up to 10,000. Walmart and Canoo became neighbors last year when Canoo’s headquarters relocated from California to Walmart’s turf in Bentonville, Arkansas — but no public deals were announced at the time.
The purchase is a step toward Walmart’s stated goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, and it will undoubtedly need to do more to compensate for the fact that it was ranked as the top maritime greenhouse gas polluter in a report on the largest US importers via shipping last year. However, Walmart’s Canoo order isn’t its only EV resource; in January, it reserved 5,000 all-electric delivery vans from GM-backed BrightDrop.
Throughout the pandemic, Walmart’s delivery services have expanded, and the company claims to be able to perform same-day deliveries for many products to 80 percent of the US population. Walmart will need all the delivery vehicles it can get with the acceleration of its in-home delivery services, which include direct-to-fridge deliveries in even more states, and the push to provide its GoLocal delivery services for other companies.
Canoo began in 2017 as Evelozcity, a California start-up, and soon after it was renamed Canoo in 2019, it revealed the VW-style microbus EVs it planned to make available via subscription. Since then, the company has lost a deal with Hyundai, lost executives, and not only missed out on a deal with Apple, but also lost its former CEO and co-founder to Apple. And today, Bloomberg reports that Canoo had a battery fire that set a company trailer on fire — the company’s second fire in a year. This company occasionally feels like it’s on fire, and not in a good way. With the latest cash from Walmart, perhaps it can put out some of those fires.