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Canoo wants to sell the world's first subscription-only EV

There's room for seven people in the quirky, funky pod-like car.
Georgina Torbet, @georginatorbet
September 24, 2019
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You can get subscriptions for your music, TV and games, so why not for your vehicle as well? A company called Canoo wants to become the "Netflix of cars" by offering the world's first subscription-only electric vehicle, and today it has revealed its futuristic van-like EV.

The Canoo vehicle looks like a space-age transport pod, offering a more roomy interior for passengers while maintaining the exterior footprint of a compact car. It has space for seven people and the rear seats are designed to be comfortable and stylish, more like a sofa than a traditional car seat. Other fun features include the ability for anyone in the car to control the navigation, music and heating from a smartphone or tablet.

The vehicle comes with advanced driver-assistance systems and driver monitoring, using a total of seven cameras, five radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. These sensors can detect nearby objects and other cars using deep learning algorithms for better protection of the driver and passengers. Plus the battery has plenty of juice with a range of 250 miles and the ability to charge to 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

Subscription services for cars are becoming more commonplace, with Toyota, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz getting in on the action, among others. However, there have been investigations from regulators after objections from dealers and not all the services have taken off, with Ford deciding to sell its subscription service earlier this month.

The Canoo EV subscription concept has lots to offer potential users, but it is incredibly difficult for new companies to bring a vehicle to production at scale. Canoo will now begin beta testing a fleet of vehicles before switching focus to production at the end of the year. The hope is to launch the service in 2021, beginning in Los Angeles.

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