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Electric vehicle company Canoo lists on Nasdaq

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Tony Aquila, Canoo Executive Chairman, discuss Canoo’s listing on the Nasdaq today.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Now my next story combines two of the hottest things of 2020, electric vehicles and SPACs. The EV startup Canoo made its stock-market debut today after completing a merger with special purchase acquisition company Hennessy Capital. Canoo's stock began trading on the NASDAQ. It's sort of had a mixed start. The stock is down about 4% right now in pretty heavy trading volume. By the way, Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage on the stock with a $30 price target.

Joining me now is Canoo's new Executive Chairman Tony Aquila. Tony, good to see you, and congratulations on the merger with the SPAC. What do you make of the early action we're seeing in the stock price today?

TONY AQUILA: Well, I think with the news of Apple, you know, it created a lot more volume in the stocks around Lidar and then the EV guys as they're coming to light. But I actually think it's a very good thing that Apple is kind of alluding to their involvement. Obviously it's a very different vehicle than what we're focused on.

But, you know, the demand is so high, and it's only going to grow. When you think about three to four car generations from now, we're going to be 80% electric and 20% fossil fuel. So if you just kind of think back to kind of post-World War II, how many OEMs were there in each continent because of supply and demand?

So there's so much innovation that has to pour into this industry to make mobility as a service. And the areas we're very passionate about is in productivity, right? Because if you think of the small-business owner, the person that has a medium-sized business or even large companies, the efficiency, the return on capital-- this breakthrough in technology is massive. But same-day deliveries-- you know, we all want it brought to us.

So we focus on a very specific area of the market, which was more geared towards, you know, middle America, all-American, all North America, and then to the world to be able to bring people a return on capital. You know, cars normally cost you money, but in this evolution, you actually could make money with your vehicle significantly because you have very low maintenance costs.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So you bring up the Apple news. I was going to ask you about that. Somebody like a heavy hitter like Apple with very deep pockets, does that now perhaps change Canoo's strategy going forward when it comes to the way you're going to build your vehicles or perhaps the timeline?

TONY AQUILA: No, not at all. For us, actually, I think where Apple will contribute a lot to everybody in the industry is in the battery sector. I think also on the OS side. You know, I come out of the software industry, so taking a very software approach, you know, and from the automotive side.

So I think that they will-- they'll help. I think it'll be helpful. I think the niche area they're focusing in, as they talked about, 2024 in the self-driving vehicle category. Those are infrastructure, and, you know, you can't just take those things anywhere. There's a lot of work to be done.

We're more of in the 2.5 to 3 range of autonomy where, you know, you really heighten driver safety and you bring packages and goods and, you know, business activity. In fact, our productivity vehicle, it's bidirectional charging, so it's a power plant so you don't have a generator. You don't have sounds. You don't have smell. You have-- a person could show up to their worksite, work all day long, and only touch 10% of the battery life. And we're still innovating in battery capacity.

So I think it's all hands on deck when you think of the demand and the rotation of the fleet. And so there's lots of room, and I think Apple coming in is a good thing.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: We've been seeing some pictures of your vehicle that you unveiled last week. It's an electric multipurpose van. It looks pretty cool. Going to start at approximately $33,000. I understand preorders are going to start soon. What does this vehicle in particular-- who are you targeting with this particular vehicle? Because I know that it's very concentrated on deliveries and sort of that last-mile delivery, if you will.

TONY AQUILA: Yeah, so whether you're a plumber, an electrician, you know, a construction worker, or a delivery person, you need a vehicle with lots of room. So the platform that we've built-- which, you know, unlike most of the companies that are out there, we've already poured $300 million into our platform, and we've done 50 crash tests. But in this vehicle that we unveiled here last week, you got 450 cubic feet in just the box area at a 6-plus-foot height, so no bending.

You know, the ergonomics we focused in, having the ability to have 240 or 125 volt, you know, bidirectional power tools. I mean, the use cases we focused in on is, you know, very much to help people return on capital from the investment and do it ecologically.

So so many use cases, and we focused on a configuration model. So when you go and order your vehicle, you can configure it to your use case. And we thought about the repairability if it gets crashed. You know, we thought about advertising. You know, as you can see, the billboard effect. You could wrap it. You know, we just really tried to think about not just owner one but owner two and owner three of the vehicles.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Tony, have you locked in a deal with a contract manufacturer yet to build the vehicles?

TONY AQUILA: We have not. We have been in discussions with everyone, but we're most likely in phase one. We will be in a hybrid of some manufacturing on our own certain areas because you have the platform-- as the world calls them now, skateboards for the few of us that have actually created them-- and tested them. And, of course, ours is drive by wire, brake by wire. It's pretty advanced by comparison.

So, you know, there's certain parts of the IP line we'll want to make sure we're very focused on controlling, similar to the Apples of the world. And then, of course, working in a smart and efficient way with outside manufacturing for the assembly of vehicles. But long term, you know, those things are, you know, evolutions that occur.

But the one thing that I think also is the next big wave is the whole 3D printing, laser printing, you know, the whole ability to create and make parts in vertical integration. That is all going to boom away from just the old robotics.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: We're going to leave it there. Tony Aquila, executive chairman at Canoo, again, congratulations on the SPAC merger today.

TONY AQUILA: Thank you very much, Alexis.