Canoo Showcases Skateboard Platform's Performance at California's Rabbit Dry Lake

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【Summary】While the video is meant to show off the skateboard’s available performance, it also reveals just how versatile the startup’s skateboard chassis can be.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 28, 2020 8:00 AM PT
Canoo Showcases Skateboard Platform's Performance at California's Rabbit Dry Lake

While the majority of startups are just focusing on coming out with electric vehicles, Canoo is taking it one step further. The Los Angeles-based electric vehicle company unveiled its funky-looking van last September, which is confusingly also called the "Canoo." Unlike other automakers, Canoo only offers the Canoo as part of a monthly subscription plan. Not only is Canoo looking to change the way we travel, but the company is also looking to change the way we all own vehicles. While Canoo is known for the "Canoo," the automaker's innovative skateboard platform can be used for so much more.

Canoo's Platform Is Special

Skateboard platforms aren't new, Tesla currently uses them in their electric cars and other automakers like Audi and General Motors have plans to introduce the platform for its future electric vehicles. Canoo has plans to provide Hyundai and Kia with its skateboard platform for their respective electric cars. The skateboard platform, for a lot of electric vehicles, is one of the more crucial aspects of the machines. While Canoo's platform is currently only on the van-like "Canoo," it can clearly be hooked up to anything and result in great performance.

To show off its skateboard platform, Canoo stripped it down to make a "skatekart" and let Sara Price, a professional racing driver, drive it on California's Rabbit Dry Lake. Naturally, with the dual-motor setup that's good for 500 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, the skatekart certainly caused some mayhem on the dry lake. 

Obviously, the stunt was used to show off its revolutionary skateboard platform. The platform is capable of housing multiple motor configurations, including front, rear, and dual setups. Canoo claims that the skateboard is modular and features a self-contained rolling chassis, which is what you see ripping around in the video. The skateboard platform houses the electric drivetrain, battery components, electronics, autonomous driving components, and crash structure. 

Innovative Tech To Ease Production

In what the company claims is an industry first, the skateboard platform has a "true steer-by-wire system." The company claims it was inspired by ones found on race cars and is meant to provide drivers with a "highly responsive driving experience," even if you're behind the wheel of a van. Additionally, the platform gives the company versatility for future products.

What's so special about steer-by-wire? Well, it eliminates the need for the steering system to have a physical connection with the cabin and the skateboard itself. This gives the company the freedom to develop a variety of vehicles without having to worry about designing a vehicle around the steering wheel. It will also give Canoo a leg up on the competition once autonomous technology is introduced.

"We wanted to showcase our skateboard's performance and prove that our rolling chassis is a truly self-contained unit with everything needed to drive built inside," said Ulrich Kranz, Canoo's co-founder and CEO. "We have revolutionized the platform design concept with a chassis that can be easily married with a chassis that can be easily married with different cabins, with little adjustment, enabling us to get new vehicles on the road faster and cheaper."

Canoo's first electric vehicle may not be that exciting, but from the video below, it's clear that the startup has the platform to create something with impressive performance in the future.

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