According to a recent report, in the first half of 2020, Apple held talks with Canoo – an electric vehicle startup from California. Two sources familiar with the meetings say that the discussions ranged from topics like investments to even the possibility of an acquisition.
However, Canoo had no business in being acquired and was more open to the idea of a partnership. Therefore, the talks eventually fell apart. These meetings do help to corroborate the recent rumors about Apple’s plans to release its own autonomous electric vehicle.
Apple reportedly held talks with EV startup Canoo about an acquisition
According to the sources, Apple’s main interest in Canoo has to do with the company’s skateboard chassis architecture and its steering technology, which allows it a lot of freedom in body design:
Canoo’s scalable electric vehicle platform, or “skateboard,” is largely what drew Apple’s interest, the people said. The platform is different from ones developed by other startups and larger automakers because it integrates more of the car’s electronics, allowing for greater flexibility in cabin design. It also features steer-by-wire technology, which also increases design flexibility and is not yet widely adopted in the industry.
The report goes on to state that the Cupertino tech giant was more interested in an acquisition but Canoo wanted investment, so the talks eventually fell apart. Though the acquisition of Canoo wasn’t successful, Apple bought Drive.ai – a startup that was developing autonomous cars.- in 2019.
Canoo was more interested in taking on an investment from Apple, two of the people said. Ultimately, the talks fell apart. Canoo has since become a publicly traded company after merging with a blank check fund that was listed on the NASDAQ in late 2020. Apple has made at least one other acquisition in the mobility space in recent years, buying Drive.ai in 2019.
Neither company would go into detail about the talks that were had, which is relatively standard in the industry. However, this report does help corroborate that Apple is still working on developing its own electric car.
“Canoo doesn’t openly comment on strategic discussions, relationships or partnerships unless deemed appropriate,” Tony Aquila, Canoo’s executive chairman, said in a statement to The Verge. Apple declined to comment.