Canoo starts up EV production

A Canoo Lifestyles vehicle takes sharp turns around building poles at the Canoo car manufacturing plant in Bentonville on Friday, May 20, 2022. Canoo, the electric car maker planning on headquartering in Bentonville, showed off its new Lifestyles vehicle in Bentonville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

Canoo, an electric vehicle maker with operations in Bentonville and plans to place its headquarters there, said Friday that it has begun to produce vehicles.

In a Friday Facebook post, Canoo said the company had reached the start-of-production milestone Thursday. Tony Aquila, an investor, chairman and CEO at Canoo, had announced the Nov. 17 goal earlier this month during a conference call to discuss earnings.

The first 15 vehicles are earmarked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Walmart and other strategic partners, the company said in the post. Production includes the company's Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle and Lifestyle Vehicle.

During the conference call, Aquila said Canoo had more than $2 billion in its order pipeline for companies including Walmart, Utah-based van provider Kingbee and Los Angeles-based Zeeba. Initial manufacturing of the vehicles is being done by a third party.

In the Friday post, Canoo said it will shift production during the first half of 2023 to its new Oklahoma City manufacturing location announced earlier this month.