Nov 16, 2021 - Business

Electric car maker relocating to NW Arkansas

Animated illustration of an electric car trailed by a lightning bolt

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Electric vehicle maker, Canoo, said in its third-quarter earnings call Monday it plans to relocate its headquarters to Bentonville with a research and development center in Fayetteville.

  • The company currently operates in California and Texas.

Why it matters: Electric vehicles are the next big frontier industry. One EV maker in NWA could lead to the development of ancillary companies and the formation of an electric mobility hub.

In June the company said it will manufacture its boxy vehicles in Pryor, Oklahoma, where it would create 2,000 jobs.

On its earnings call yesterday, CEO Tony Aquila said Canoo will receive nearly $400 million in combined tax incentives from Arkansas and Oklahoma to locate operations in the states.

Flashback: Canoo went public in December 2020 after it was acquired by special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. It now trades on Nasdaq under GOEV.

  • In May, the company said it was being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. TechCrunch reported the investigation followed executive departures, lawsuits from shareholders and the loss of an automotive partnership.
  • The investigation is ongoing and a spokesperson told Axios that Canoo will disclose updates in its consolidated financial statements.

By the numbers: Canoo posted a loss of $208.7 million for the first nine months of 2021.

  • The company employs 700 people and has about 100 contractors.
  • Aquila said the operations announced in both states will employ a combined 1,200 people, which is in addition to 2,000 jobs previously announced in Oklahoma.
  • A later news release said nearly 550 of those jobs will be in Northwest Arkansas.

The bottom line: Canoo is one of a slew of electric vehicle startups aiming to copy the success of Tesla.


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