Interesting modular, versatile, small prototype truck being shown by CANOO

Canoeists, kayakers, and lots of other cargo carriers, check out a radically different kind of pickup envisioned by an electric vehicle maker, Canoo.

I see benefits from these features:

  1. Modularity (ease of component repair and replacement, and hopefully lower expense/time in shop)
  2. Versatility of uses
  3. Low emissions.

I also question these aspects:

  • Will all those pieces be more likely to jiggle, get fouled and abraded between joints by the inevitable road debris (especially in many places that trucks are used)?
  • Will it be possible to implement 4WD transfer case equivalent and other rough-road tools (and towing ability)?
  • Does switching from petro fuels to batteries merely trade one kind of environmental damage to another one. And, of course, there is still the low miles of range per charge.

Link to article summarizing features; there are several vidoes demonstrating how the bed extends and other new ways of providing versatility. Canoo Unveils Work Pickup Truck With Practical Features - Electric Vehicles - Charged Fleet

I don’t even like going into the wilderness depending on the amount of electronics in a normal modern vehicle! Or I should say I really prefer heading out in my pre computer rigs.

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Electric no thanks. You ever see a charging station at a kayak launch. Me neither.

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I don’t know. EVs are good for a wide range of uses and these look like they might be useful for delivery and contractors where the vehicle returns to home base daily. For us, EVs would probably meet 80% or more of our use cases. Its those other 20% that are a problem. The infrastructure isn’t there yet as far as I know in rural areas and the backwoods to support some of our paddling and hiking trips. Heck, sometimes you have to pay close attention to the fuel gauge in a ICE vehicle as filling stations may be hard to find.

EVs have the advantage that they move tailpipe emissions out of congested areas to a more central source where there is a greater potential to manage them. Also as non-carbon energy sources come on line (nuclear, hydro, wind, & solar) the overall emissions may come down.

I’m like rival51 - I’m not sure. And 4WD? I live in hills where it snows. That’s a feature I need. But its nice to see someone thinking about a low emission small truck - there’s a need there.

I’m also a little curious. I can sure see how tailpipe emissions would be lowered, of course, if masses of people switch over to EVs. But if that energy that used to be from gasoline were to be replaced by electric, how is that electricity generated and wouldn’t you have to take increased transmission losses into consideration? If its coal, or even natural gas, generated electric, aren’t you just moving the pollution source to a power plant instead of from a tail pipe? (Would we need to start building more new nuke plants and transmission lines to meet increased demand, and how do we feel about that? How about damming more rapids for hydro?) It would take a whole lot of solar or wind farms to even that out, I’d think. Or home solar charging… and that’s not so cheap either, even for folks who (unlike me) are allowed to build garages to put panels on the roofs of.
And wouldn’t it take a LOT of copper to make all those electric motors? Maybe it could be mined in that proposed sulfide copper mine next to the BWCA? And Lithium would become an even more expensive resource, I’d think. That’s not so clean either, and aren’t we getting a lot of that from China? We don’t get somethin’ for nuthin’.

So I wait and see. More will be revealed.

I agree that it’s a step in the right direction. I wonder why more solar roof panels aren’t integrated into the design. No matter where you go, the sun is (mostly) shining down on you.

I’ve been looking fairly seriously into the new Rivian R1T. The launch edition will have a 300+ mile range, which will cover most of my launch spot needs. As far as charging stations at a kayak launch, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gas station at one either. If 4WD is a necessity, the R1T will be one of the most capable 4WD vehicles ever produced, as it has 4 independent motors, one at each corner, that can modulate power independently based on traction.

I’ve talked to their engineers about solar panels, and was told at this point (a year or so ago), panels just aren’t efficient enough to really make much difference. You might gain a couple of miles on a full day of charging is all, but it is something they are definitely working on as solar technology gets better. They mentioned the possibility of a solar tonneau cover in the future.

You don’t see gas stations at kayak launch sites doesn’t make sense and here is why. It takes a long time to charge a EV, even a Tesla on a supercharger take 120 minute to charge to FULL. So why I said NO EV station at kayak launch is the car would need to be recharged while your out kayaking. Other wise be prepared to wait and wait. Then think about if everyone had a EV car. Well I pulled up to a gas station the other day were there was a line and gas only takes a few minutes to fuel, now imagine that line waiting was for a recharge. Right now when you pull up to a charge station there is usually open spot. Wont be the case if everyone has a EV. Until they come up with a battery that can be recharged to FULL in 5 minutes it wont be practical for the masses. They are working on it with what they call Solid State batteries. google it.

There is all sort of other pollution with EV cars you have to consider too. 80 percent of the raw materials for batteries is in China control as of now. Yes more Nuclear power plants would be needed . MANY more. Solar is a joke. Why people don’t have solar standard on new home builds ? easy, . COST. Solar panels are a losing proposition. Friend of mine who is a super eco man bought 40K worth of panels He figured at 30 year life span they will just break even with that 40K spent. BUT had that 40K been invested in stock market he is in a BIG whole money wise. BUT as I said he is Eco man so doesn’t care. MOST people care about money as we are not all wealthy.

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Oh so true. My 69 ford truck is far more environmentally friendly to keep on the road than the building of one EV.
The batteries are an environmental disaster. The batteries need replaced from time to time.
The amount of precious metals going into all the computers and the generation of the power. Then… as you said the need for many many more power plants. Places like LA where air quality is a very real issue already have rolling brownouts in summer without plugging in a couple hundred thousand cars. Whatever the alternative to gasoline is, it isn’t electric and the manufacturers would probably be closer to the next energy source if the government didn’t make it so profitable to build electric.

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There’s a lot of blue sky fantasy that gets floated these days… typically as manufactured lifelike images. Just because it can be rendered does not make it so…

Another concern with most EVs today: They’re all “connected”, either to the manufacturer’s cloud, or somewhere else, which allows the manufacturer to push updates to the vehicle’s software. How often will updates be rolled out? How will they be implemented? How thoroughly are they vetted to not introduce new problems? How secure is the network connection between the vehicle and whatever it connects to? Is there a way to disable the network functionality without crippling the vehicle’s operation?

An excellent point, Nunio. It adds yet another level of connectedness, which already poses some pretty serious security concerns to us both individually and collectively. More reliance on an increasingly complex and interconnected grid, as greatly increased use of EVs would seem to greatly encourage, would in all likelihood exacerbate the serious security concerns which are already a matter of national security. A hacked electric grid, or for that matter pipelines, train and seaport routing systems, who knows what else - as has happened in Ukraine and elsewhere - could shut us down flat, at least regionally. Its harder to play cyber defense than offense. Sooner of later a failure seems likely and the consequences could be grave.

Years ago, during the Carter administration, I was a solar installer. Head installer for our company for a while… Did that for about four years and our company grew to among the ten largest in the country, or so the owners claimed - and if they were wrong it wasn’t by a lot. But my point is that I had a good long close up view of “green energy”. I can report with confidence that a good part of the ethic back then was directed to making individuals more energy independent. We installed wind machines that powered a farm or two, a house or four. We installed hydronic solar systems that provided domestic hot water for single homes or apartment complexes or, occasionally, whole house heating. We also installed the first photovoltaic system in our area, though the pay-back period on that system back then was nothing to brag about.
We were idealistic back then and thought we were working to build a better system, a better future.

But back then the prevailing idea was that it was desirable to decrease reliance on the grid, disconnect from it if possible. (That vision, of course, got shot down in a hurry… and I, like a great many other workers, went scrambling for lesser jobs.)

But that original vision is not what’s happening today - wind farms and the huge solar collector farms I’m seeing going up now require more reliance on a transmission grid, not less. Our hydronic systems back then had an estimated useful life of at least 75 years - Photovoltaic cells about a third of that, and further pose a recycling challenge. It concerns me how such systems could be hacked or otherwise fail, shutting everyone down simultaneously. That’s also currently true of coal, gas, hydro, nuke, etc. plants also, but to me it seems like this mass energy production, even if “green”, is setting ourselves up for failure. And EVs might contribute greatly to the gravity of such a failure. It would be better to generate on a municipal level.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not opposed to EVs at all. I want one. (Maybe keep the gassie explicitly for long canoe trips…) But a large scale switch to EVs changes the nature of the landscape we all live in. It behooves us to take the measure of this new landscape and take the proper precautions to assure that it is indeed an improved, rather than merely different, landscape.

Wow, kind of seems like I touched a nerve there. My apologies if so. My comment about not seeing gas stations at kayak launches was simply a response to your comment about not wanting an EV because you’ve never seen a charging station at a kayak launch. Your logic, not mine, and I assumed your comment was made somewhat in jest, so my response was also meant in jest, since I’ve never actually needed fuel at a launch site. I assumed (correctly I now see) that wasn’t your only reason for not wanting one.

I don’t think that solar can be completely ruled out as a joke as far as providing power, as long as it’s limitations are looked at honestly. I have a cabin in the Rockies that is close to 20 miles off the power grid. For less than 6K I have a solar system that run everything I need, for less than 5% of the cost I was quoted by the power company to bring in a line. That math was pretty easy in my case. Do I run my house with it? No, but it does have it’s place.

I don’t software updates will be too much of an issue. Tesla currently does them much like phone updates, usually in the middle of the night when the vehicle is not in use, and I can’t really see a company rolling one out that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted, although mistakes can happen, but recalls on gas vehicles are certainly common.

Are EVs a perfect solution? Absolutely not. I’ll keep my gas vehicles, and as one who has had a penchant for running 1/4 miles, I’m sure I’ll keep my somewhat ridiculous ones.

Excellent point.
Being… not young, I remember when a company data mining you was a big deal. Today it’s so common place that people think I’m strange for protecting my data. I don’t even carry my cell phone on weekends and I do as much of my shopping cash as possible. I’m seriously tired of someone trying to map out my every move for their benefit.
As for the updates… How many programs or devices crash when updated?
There’s more than one reason I always say, if it doesn’t have a wing window, it isn’t worth owning.

There are other EV trucks coming out before then from companies we have heard of, might consider getting one of those. But new electric vehicle startups are announced all the time and most won’t stand the test of time. I wouldn’t risk putting money on a pre-order for something 2 years off with a company that has never turned a profit.

There’s another one ‘Alpha Motors’… lots of cool renderings and naval gazing mission statements… even taking down payments to reserve a vehicle, but under ‘news’ there is nothing about a factory, production, hiring, tooling up, etc etc. Just ‘Alpha announces’.Every google image is a rendering.