EV startup Canoo revealed Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) for army evaluation that can convert from the flatbed truck to a pickup truck.
Canoo has been developing various vehicles based on its common platform, with most aimed at private EV buyers.
The startup has recently been testing its panel vans with Walmart, as the retail giant seeks to embrace electric mobility.
Canoo may have gotten its start with its VW Bus-style looks and images of camping alongside tall trees, but the startup has firmly migrated in the direction of last-mile delivery thanks to Walmart—and now is investigating tactical vehicles for military customers.
The startup has recently delivered its Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) for evaluation to the US Army, shopping it around as a small cargo vehicle, able to be converted from a pickup truck to a flatbed truck. This would permit it to carry tactical equipment, as well as more mundane items... but not too close to the front lines, because the Canoo LTV is not armored. (This reminds us of yet another EV truck that turned out not to be armored, much to its CEO's surprise).
"The LTV is another milestone proving the power of our technology and how it can be used, even in tactical situations," said Tony Aquila, chairman and CEO at Canoo. "This is a winning algorithm for our customers and company."
We've certainly seen special forces take an interest in electric bikes, due to their quiet operation and ease of use in certain environments, but a small electric cargo trucklet is certainly another direction that some militaries will pursue. Just not at scale at the moment.
Would the Canoo still be suitable for combat duty, if not exactly on the front lines?
Lest we forget, the HMMWV debuted some 40 years ago without armor of any sort, and it took quite a few years for armored version to be developed (and then even more years for them to be fielded in numbers that mattered). The HMMWV, at its inception, was not designed to take small arms fire, so the start of Canoo's LTV could follow a similar path. But in that evolution, it would certainly see some significant changes if it were to enter an environment where gunfire was, let's say, a possibility.
What it does have on its side is lots of power and torque, so it could certainly tow things over a variety of terrain.
"The LTV has a proprietary all-wheel-drive system with up to 600 hp. To support the increased demands of off-road environments, the LTV incorporates air-springs, a raised suspension, and 32-inch all-terrain tires to build higher ground clearance suitable for extreme or rugged conditions," the startup says.
We wouldn't hold our breath to see the Canoo LTV on the front lines anytime soon, but at least the startup is thinking outside the box to find new buyers.
Now, all Canoo needs to do is to to team up with an armoring specialist and beef up the suspension to allow for an extra thousand pounds of weight for something resembling VR9 ballistic specification.