U.S. electric vehicle startup Canoo has chosen VDL Nedcar to build its Lifestyle Vehicle, starting with up to 1,000 units for both the European and U.S. markets in 2022, with a target of 15,000 units in 2023, Canoo CEO Tony Aquila told investors on Thursday.
Canoo said its arrangement with the contract manufacturer will allow it to deliver vehicles to customers while it builds a factory in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The deal is a boost for Nedcar, which was told late last year that its contract to make BMW and Mini models at its factory in Born, Netherlands, would end in 2023.
Nedcar CEO John van Soerland recently told Automotive News Europe that U.S.-based EV startups were showing interest in using the Dutch company's plant.
"There's a great deal of momentum in the U.S. for electric vehicles, besides those from Mr. Musk," van Soerland said in the ANE Podcast. They start out in the U.S. and they want to get a footprint in Europe."
Canoo plans to deliver its first units of the Lifestyle Vehicle to customers by the end of 2022, followed by a delivery vehicle and a pickup truck.
"This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma," Aquila said in a statement. "It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Group of companies."
In 2019 Nedcar built 174,097 cars for BMW, down from 211,660 in 2018, a record year, according to the company. The facility currently builds the Mini Countryman, including the plug-in hybrid variant, Mini Cabrio and BMW X1.
"This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena," van Soerland said in a statement Thursday.
Canoo's plant in Oklahoma will be located on about 400 acres (160 hectares) in the northeast part of the state, 45 minutes from Tulsa, Aquila said during the company's investor relations meeting.