UW-Madison to partner with EV startup Canoo for research on electric propulsion

UW-Madison to partner with EV startup Canoo for research on electric propulsion


California startup Canoo is planning to launch three electric vehicles – a passenger van, delivery vehicle and pickup truck – to be built on a modular platform. The delivery van, above, is expected to hit the market in 2023. PHOTO – CANOO

A California startup developing electric vans and trucks is partnering with UW-Madison in hopes of making electric vehicles more available while reducing the use of limited natural resources.

The university announced Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Canoo to create an electric propulsion research center on campus.

According to the announcement, the College of Engineering will lead the effort, which is also intended to create internships and other opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Oliver Schmitz, associate dean for research at the College of Engineering, said the memorandum is a starting point for a discussion on what a research center might look like. He hopes to develop a plan over the next six months that will detail the level of support Canoo would provide in terms of funding or personnel.

In a statement, Canoo chairman and CEO Tony Aquila said university-based research would benefit the burgeoning EV industry and make U.S. manufacturers more competitive.

Canoo plans to bring its first vehicle, a 300-horsepower minivan with a 250-mile range, to market in 2022 with a base price of about $35,000. A delivery van and pickup truck built on the same platform are in the pipeline for 2023.