DETROIT — U.S. electric vehicle startup Canoo said on Thursday it would build an assembly plant in Oklahoma that was scheduled to open in 2023 and until then would use VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands as its contract manufacturer.
The Canoo plant will be located on about 400 acres of land in Pryor, Okla., in the northeast of the state, CEO Tony Aquila said at the company’s investor relations meeting in Dallas. The plant will include a paint shop, body shop and general assembly and employ over 2,000 people, the company said.
“We have picked the awesome state of Oklahoma to manufacture,” said Aquila, who previously opened offices in Dallas.
A Canoo spokeswomen declined to give a value for investment in the plant and did not give details on its capacity.
Until the Oklahoma plant opens, VDL would build Canoo’s pod-like, seven-seat lifestyle vehicle for the U.S. and European markets, he said, allowing Canoo to meet its commitment to start production in the fourth quarter of 2022.
In December, Canoo went public through a reverse merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. In April, it changed CEOs, with Aquila, a former software executive and one of Canoo’s largest shareholders, taking over.
Canoo developed a “skateboard,” or a low-rise platform that bundles batteries and electric motors with such chassis components as steering, brakes and wheels, on which a variety of vehicle body types can be built.
VDL is scheduled to build up to 1,000 vehicles next year, with a target of 15,000 in 2023, Canoo said.
After the lifestyle vehicle, Canoo plans to introduce a multipurpose delivery vehicle and pickup truck.