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Despite incentives from Oklahoma, Canoo says it expects 'continuing losses for the foreseeable future'

Oklahoma purchased three electric vehicles from Canoo at the end of 2023.
Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services
Oklahoma purchased three electric vehicles from Canoo at the end of 2023.

Electric vehicle company Canoo set up shop in Oklahoma last year, when it opened a manufacturing plant in Oklahoma City and a battery facility in Pryor. A new regulatory filing shows the company is on a bumpy financial road, even with millions of dollars in state incentives.

Canoo generated nearly $900,000 in revenue in 2023 — an improvement over 2022, when it made $0. About 13% of that 2023 revenue came from the state, which purchased Canoo’s first three made-in-Oklahoma vans just before the end of the year.

But even after factoring in those sales, Canoo still lost nearly $800 million dollars over the last two years.

“We are an early stage company with a history of losses and expect to incur significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future,” the company wrote in its required 2023 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which became available this week.

According to the filings, Canoo’s expenses have included millions of dollars in private jet flights for its CEO, Tony Aquila. Canoo has reimbursed Aquila’s company, Aquila Family Ventures, $3 million over the past two years for private air travel, as first noted by TechCrunch.

Canoo has been promised $115 million in incentives from the state government, the Cherokee Nation and Oklahoma City. But according to the SEC report, Oklahoma’s taxpayers may never see those investments pay off.

“We may not be able to realize the[...] financial incentives offered by the State of Oklahoma,” the company wrote.

Still, Canoo expects its revenue will ramp up to at least $50 million this year, according to the SEC filings. It’s promised thousands of vehicles to Wal-Mart and Zeeba, a fleet management company in California.

Canoo says it’s created more than 100 jobs in Oklahoma, which is home to about one-fifth of the company’s total workforce.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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