Electric vehicle company Canoo lists on Nasdaq
Alexis Christoforous of Yahoo Finance and Tony Aquila, Executive Chairman of Canoo, discuss Canoo's listing on the Nasdaq today.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Now my next story combines two of the hottest things of 2020, EVs and SPACs. EV startup Canoo made its stock market debut today after completing a merger with acquisition firm Hennessy Capital. Canoo's shares were traded on the NASDAQ. It was a mixed start. The stock is currently down about 4% on a fairly high trading volume. Incidentally, Roth Capital Partners has initiated a cover for the share with a price target of USD 30.
I am now joined by Canoo's new CEO, Tony Aquila. Tony, good to see you and congratulations on merging with SPAC. What do you think of the early action we're seeing in the stock price today?
TONY AQUILA: Well, I think with the news from Apple it created a lot more volume in the stocks around lidar and then the EV guys than it is coming to light. But I actually think it's a very good thing that Apple is hinting at their involvement. Obviously, it's a very different vehicle than what we're focusing on.
But the demand is so high and it will only grow. If you think of three to four generations of cars, we will be 80% electric and 20% fossil fuels. So if you just think back to the post-war era, how many OEMs were there on each continent based on supply and demand?
So there is so much innovation that has to flow into this industry in order to use mobility as a service. And the areas that we are very passionate about are productivity, right? Because when you think of the small business owner, the person who has a medium-sized or even large business, efficiency and ROI - this technological breakthrough is huge. But same day deliveries - you know, we all want them to be brought to us.
So we're focusing on a very specific area of the market that was more Central America, all of America, all of North America, and then the world, to give people a return on investment. You know cars usually cost money, but in this evolution you could actually make significant money off of your vehicle as you have very low maintenance costs.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So you get to the heart of the Apple news. I wanted to ask you about it. Someone like a tough hitter like Apple with very deep pockets. Perhaps that changes Canoo's strategy now when it comes to how you build your vehicles or what the timeline?
TONY AQUILA: No, not at all. For us, I think Apple is doing something in the battery sector so that everyone in the industry will do a lot. I think on the OS side too. You know, I'm from the software industry, so I go very software-wise and from the automotive side.
So I think that they ... they will help. I think it will be helpful. I think the niche area they are focusing on is in the self-driving vehicles category in 2024. That's infrastructure, and you can't just take these things with you everywhere. Its a lot to do.
We're more in the 2.5-3 autonomy area where, as you know, you really increase driver safety and bring parcels and goods, as well as business activities. Our productivity vehicle is bi-directional charging. So it's a power plant so you don't have a generator. You have no noises. You have no smell. You have ... a person could show up to their job site, work all day and only touch 10% of the battery life. And we're still innovating in battery capacity.
I think it's all hands on deck when you think about the demand and the rotation of the fleet. And so there is a lot of space and I think Apple is a good thing.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: We saw some pictures of your vehicle that you revealed last week. It is a multi-purpose electric cart. It looks very cool. Start at around $ 33,000. I understand that pre-orders will start soon. What makes this vehicle special - who are you targeting with this particular vehicle? Because I know it's very focused on deliveries and those last mile deliveries, if you will.
TONY AQUILA: Yes, whether you are a plumber, an electrician, a construction worker or a delivery person, you need a vehicle with a lot of space. The platform we built - you know, unlike most other companies, we already poured $ 300 million into our platform and ran 50 crash tests. But in this vehicle that we featured here last week, you only have 450 cubic feet in the box area at a height of more than 6 feet, so no bend.
You know the ergonomics we focused on has the ability to have bidirectional power tools at 240 or 125 volts. I mean, the use cases that we have focused on are, as you know, very helpful in helping people get capital out of the investment and doing it the greener way.
So many use cases and we focused on one configuration model. So when you order your vehicle, you can configure it for your use case. And we thought about the repairability when it crashes. You know, we've been thinking about advertising. You know, as you can see, the poster effect. You could wrap it up. You know, we really tried to think not just about owner one, but owner two and owner three of the vehicles.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Tony, did you still have a contract with a contract manufacturer to build the vehicles?
TONY AQUILA: We don't. We have discussed with everyone, but we are most likely in the first phase. We're going to be doing a mix of some manufacturing operations in certain areas because you've got the platform - as the world calls it now - skateboards for the few of us who actually made it - and tested it. And of course we drive wire, brake wire. It's pretty advanced in comparison.
You know, there are certain parts of the IP line that we want to make sure we are very focused on control, much like we did with the apples of the world. And then of course in an intelligent and efficient way with external production for the assembly of vehicles. But in the long run, you know, these things are evolving.
But the one thing that I also think is the next big wave is all of 3D printing, laser printing, all of the ability to create and manufacture parts in vertical integration. All of this will only boom away from the old robotics.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: We'll leave it there. Tony Aquila, Executive Chairman at Canoo, congratulates again on today's SPAC merger.
TONY AQUILA: Thank you, Alexis.
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