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Canoo says all aboard as subscription-based EV waitlist opens

The waitlist is the official lead-up to the Canoo's 2021 launch date.

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Come on in, the water's fine for dabble in car subscriptions.

Canoo

Canoo thinks the tides are changing and a subscription-based car-buying model is the future. That was the startup's whole premise when it debuted its futuristic minivan-like thing this past September, but now it's taking the next step.

On Tuesday, Canoo said its official waitlist is now open. It's totally free and anyone can join the list to be one of the first to subscribe to a Canoo. For clarity, Canoo is the name of the company and also the name of its first vehicle. Hopefully, we'll get Canoo 2: Electric Boogaloo. (Sorry.)

Canoo calls this "The First Wave" and says those who climb aboard can improve their standings within the waitlist. Individuals will earn points for successfully referring friends and family members to join the waitlist. They can also fill out surveys and earn points. Those with the most points come launch time in 2021 will be at the top of the list, but others will also earn prizes including Canoo gear. That is, Canoo-branded stuff. Not actual gear for the act of canoeing.

As for the Canoo vehicle, people at the top of the list will gain a subscription to a spacious and modern vehicle. The design sees the wheels pushed as far out to the corners as possible to maximize interior room, and the interior arrangement makes space even where you normally wouldn't find it with a couch-sectional kind of design. There are even folding chairs built into the sides of the doors.

On the mechanical side of things, the Canoo features a skateboard platform with the battery integrated in the chassis. The 80 kilowatt-hour battery should provide around 250 miles of range. Two motors, one up front and one in the rear, will make more than 300 horsepower. Oh, and there's a neat party trick: the Canoo boasts a steer-by-wire system, so there isn't a steering column. Just tug at the steering wheel (or square, in this case) 90 degrees to move from center to lock .

What remains unknown is how "affordable" the subscription service will be. Canoo plans to bundle everything into one monthly payment, but "affordable" is up for interpretation. Still, it's the boldest shot we've seen for a company to take the car-subscription model and run with it.

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