Electric car company with NASA contract reported a lack of money

(ORDO NEWS) — The electric vehicle company, which recently won a NASA contract to supply a modern version of the “Astrovan” to carry astronauts on the Artemis mission to the launch pad, warned on May 10 that it could soon run out of money.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, Canoo Technologies issued a so-called “going concern warning” due to ongoing losses. The company posted a net loss of $125.4 million in the first quarter and had $104.9 million in cash at the end of the quarter.

“We believe there is significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern for the twelve months from the date of issue of our financial statements,” Canoo said in a statement.

In March, NASA selected Canoo to fulfill the Artemis Crew Transportation Vehicles contract to supply electric vehicles that will be used to transport astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center building, where they are equipped for flight, to Launch Complex 39B.

These vehicles are to replace the Airstream motorhome called the Astrovan , which was used to transport NASA astronauts for most of the shuttle program. NASA required the use of zero-emission vehicles in the contract, citing an August 2021 executive order encouraging the use of such vehicles.

Described by NASA in an April 13 statement as “futuristic vehicles with a unique look,” the vehicles are electric vans capable of seating eight people, including four spacesuited astronauts.

Under the contract, Canoo will deliver three of these vehicles to NASA by June 2023. The NASA release did not disclose the value of the contract, but the March 31 purchase notice said the contract was valued at $147,855.

To date, Canoo has delivered very few vehicles initially. In its earnings announcement, the company said it had built a total of 39 Gamma spacecraft, which NASA spacecraft are based on. The company said it will begin full-scale production of its vehicles later this year, subject to the funding needed to keep the operation going.

During a May 10 earnings call, Canoo executives acknowledged the going concern warning but said they were working to raise up to $600 million in new funding.

Of this, $50 million will come from an investment by existing shareholder, Aquila Family Ventures, and $250 million from a share purchase agreement with Yorkville Advisors, a hedge fund. Canoo also filed a registration application to sell shares of up to $300 million.

Tony Akila, chief executive of Canoo, said in a call that he expects the $50 million investment to close this week. The agreement with Yorkville will be ready in “a couple of weeks,” he added.

The two companies that provide commercial crew services to NASA take different approaches to getting astronauts to the launch pad.

SpaceX is using Tesla Model X electric vehicles to ferry astronauts to the launch pad for the Crew Dragon missions. Boeing has partnered with Airstream to develop the so-called “Astrovan II” that will be used by astronauts flying on future CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

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