Electric van maker Canoo won the competitive process to supply the Crew Transportation Vehicles for NASA's Project Artemis. The space program's goal is to land humans on the moon for the first time in decades.
The vehicles will be customized versions of Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle (LV) van. They will have to carry fully suited astronauts, their equipment, and support staff. Deliveries will begin by June 2023.
Gallery: Canoo electric pickup truck
To be clear, the Canoo-supplied vehicle won't be going to the moon. It will remain on Earth and will do the job of taking astronauts to the rocket. During the Space Shuttle era, NASA famously used a specially outfitted Airstream RV to do this job.
The selection of our innovative technologies by NASA to take a diverse team of American astronauts to the moon showcases a great commitment to sustainable transportation,” said Canoo Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila.
Canoo will build the NASA transports at its locations in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Pryor, Oklahoma. A commercially available version of LV will come from the Bentonville factory starting in late 2022. By 2023, the company will make an estimated 14,000 to 17,000 vehicles a year there.
NASA And The New Lunar Rover:
There are a few technical details available about the Canoo LV. The automaker projects a 250-mile (402-kilometer) range from an 80-kilowatt-hour battery. The drivetrain makes up to 350 horsepower (261 kilowatts). Prices start at $34,750 and go as high as $49,950. The company has a contract with Panasonic to supply the batteries for the vehicle.
NASA also partners with SpaceX to develop the lunar lander for Project Artemis. Sending people to the moon will happen no earlier than 2025. Before then, there will be crewed and uncrewed flight tests to go around the moon before sending astronauts to the surface.
In other news about the moon, General Motors and Lockheed Martin are working together on a new lunar rover. There aren't many details about the vehicle yet other than the intention for autonomous motoring to be possible. A rendering from the automaker on Instagram shows a two-seat vehicle with a large cargo bed and a roll hoop.