Canoo plans for battery module plant in Oklahoma

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,039 views 

Electric vehicle company Canoo, which has Bentonville operations, announced plans Wednesday (Nov. 2) for an electric vehicle battery module manufacturing facility at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Okla.

According to a news release, the company will renovate a 100,000-square-foot building on 10 acres before manufacturing equipment is delivered in the first quarter of 2023. The facility is expected to have about 3,200 megawatt-hours of battery module manufacturing capacity and will produce the battery modules on high-capacity assembly lines with automated machinery.

“We are accelerating our hiring plans in Pryor with the establishment of our EV Battery Module Manufacturing Facility, which will produce our proprietary battery modules, energy management system and thermal control technology for our MPP platform,” said Tony Aquila, chairman and CEO of Canoo. “This is the first building block for Canoo’s production ramp strategy, with more news coming very soon. The location has been strategically selected due to its proximity to our battery cell partner Panasonic and our future MegaMicro factory. In addition, we will be the first EV company to produce our battery modules with hydro-power from the Grand River Dam Authority. We will work closely with and hire within the surrounding communities to create an EV ecosystem in the region.”

In October 2021, Canoo reached an agreement with Panasonic to supply batteries for its lifestyle vehicle. According to an Oct. 25, 2021, news release, vehicle production was slated to start in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The battery module plant will be near the planned vehicle production factory that’s to be built on 400 acres and is expected to employ more than 2,000 people. According to a Canoo spokesperson, the battery modules and other items manufactured at the new facility will be for Canoo electric vehicles.

“We are very excited about Canoo accelerating their activities in Pryor with this Battery Module Manufacturing Facility as they ramp up production and ultimately prepare the site for their previously announced MegaMicro Factory,” said Dave Stewart, CEO of MidAmerica Industrial Park. “This is a very encouraging signal to the community and the state of Oklahoma as we continue to attract high-technology companies and jobs.”

Canoo will implement workforce training programs in partnership with the Cherokee Nation, MidAmerica Industrial Park and others “to provide high-paying light blue-collar jobs,” the release shows.

Canoo has recently announced agreements to sell more than 19,000 of its electric vehicles to companies, including Bentonville-based retailer Walmart, van rental provider Kingbee and fleet leasing provider Zeeba.

The largest order so far is from Kingbee. The company ordered 9,300 vehicles, with an option to increase the order to 18,600. Zeeba is set to purchase 5,450 vehicles, and Walmart has agreed to buy 4,500 vehicles, with an option to purchase up to 10,000. Canoo also has contracts with the U.S. Army and NASA.

In November 2021, Torrance, Calif.-based Canoo announced that it had selected Northwest Arkansas for its headquarters, research and development and EV industrialization facility. It selected Oklahoma for research and development, software development and customer support and financing centers.

According to an Aug. 27 article in Fortune magazine, Canoo is working with a Detroit-based company to manufacture its initial vehicles. Canoo’s Bentonville facility isn’t expected to start making vehicles until at least the second quarter of 2023.

Shares of Canoo (NASDAQ: GOEV) were trading Wednesday at $1.34, down 3 cents or 2.18%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $1.28 and $13.35.