After a competitive process, NASA chose Canoo to design an electric vehicle to transport its Artemis astronauts to the launchpad on their next mission. It’s a short drive compared to reaching the moon, but the specialized vehicle needs to be able to carry fully-equipped astronauts, support staff and gear to the launch site.

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A Canoo electrical vehicle with a camper on the roof sitting in a snowy forest

“We are honored to transport the Artemis crew to the launch site for the first human lunar landing in more than 50 years. The selection of our innovative technologies by NASA to take a diverse team of American astronauts to the moon showcases a great commitment to sustainable transportation,” said Canoo Investor, Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila.

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Canoo was chosen because the company’s customizable vehicles are modular and upgradable throughout their lifecycle. Basically, it means flexible-use applications.

A white Canoo van vehicle sits in an empty room

Additionally, Canoo vehicles have a high level of recyclability at the end of its life. They’re made in the U.S. by teams working from California, Michigan, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Furthermore, the new Crew Transportation Vehicle will be based on Canoo’s LV model — an all-electric vehicle designed from the ground up. It will include Canoo’s proprietary multipurpose platform to maximize cabin space, utility and productivity on a compact footprint. 

Interior black seating in the front

While the contract from NASA is just for one vehicle, it speaks to potential future plans to partner with EV makers on vehicle designs for unique applications. Canoo filed more than 160 patents across all major components for their unique electric vehicles. They are designed in a way similar to space rovers. There are equipped with fully redundant parts and systems, created with secure proprietary software that utilizes over-the-air updates.

A Canoo car driving on a bridge

Meanwhile, serviceability and upgradability help reduce lifetime cost and materials waste from vehicles. Canoo reduced part counts and focused on making parts repairable whenever possible by using a modular approach to design. This makes the vehicles cheaper to fix, more efficient, durable and eco-friendly across their lifetime, not to mention easier to use for organizations such as NASA.

A Canoo pickup truck back driving through a snowy hill

Canoo will launch commercial production of its vehicles from its Arkansas factory in late 2022, and deliver on the NASA Artemis vehicle in 2023.

Artemis will land the first woman and person of color on the moon and provide learning opportunities for future missions. This mission, the first time humans have landed on the moon in over 50 years, will establish the first long-term human and robotic presence on and around the lunar surface and lay the groundwork for future crew visits to Mars

+ Canoo

Images via Canoo