Photo: Canoo

Canoo is slated to become the latest fledgling electric vehicle player to go public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Why it matters: A number of electric vehicle companies are using that model in place of traditional IPOs to raise money and begin trading.

  • Lordstown Motors and Fisker both announced SPAC deals this summer, while Nikola Motors began trading in June after one of the transactions.

The state of play: Los Angeles-based Canoo announced Tuesday the merger with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV.

  • The deal will take Canoo public at a valuation of $2.4 billion, the companies said.
  • It's bringing in investments from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and others, providing Canoo with about $600 million in new capital.

The backdrop: Canoo is looking to lure consumers with a subscription-based model for an eponymously-named "lifestyle" vehicle it hopes to launch in 2022. It's envisioned as an "urban loft on wheels," Axios' Joann Muller reported last year.

  • "In addition, Canoo has designed a commercial delivery [business-to-business] vehicle with expected availability in 2023 that directly capitalizes on Canoo's core skateboard technology," per the SPAC announcement.
  • The company's skateboard architecture has attracted outside interest too, with Hyundai announcing this year that it plans to develop future vehicles using it.

Go deeper: SPACs are the new IPOs

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 8, 2020 - Energy & Environment

GM takes 11% stake in EV startup Nikola, will build its pickup truck

GM CEO Mary Barra. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors is taking an 11% stake in the electric vehicle startup Nikola Corp. and will manufacture its planned Badger pickup truck, the companies said Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the latest vote of confidence for Nikola, which is among a number of startups that have been attracting significant capital and investor interest before making any profits or vehicles.

TikTok's content-moderation time bomb

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When the dust finally clears from the fight over TikTok, whoever winds up running the burgeoning short-video-sharing service is likely to face a world of trouble trying to manage speech on it.

Why it matters: Facebook’s story already shows us how much can go wrong when online platforms beloved by passionate young users turn into public squares.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
36 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Zooming in on China's new energy plan

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Major climate news arrived on Tuesday when Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would aim for "carbon neutrality" by 2060 and a CO2 emissions peak before 2030.

Why it matters: China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter. So its success or failure at reining in planet-warming gases affects everyone's future.

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