Electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo plugs into Oklahoma’s future

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For more than 100 years, Oklahomans have been the pioneers in the energy industry.

What began with an oil boom has diversified into an all-of-the-above energy approach. Today, 40% of our power comes from renewable sources, including wind and solar. We have the second-most affordable electricity in the country, and we have the most electric vehicle charging stations per capita.

The decision to reopen our economy last summer led directly to a budget surplus of $1.6 billion. We decided to give that back to Oklahomans in the form of tax cuts, both individual and corporate, to make our state more competitive.

Now, Oklahoma ranks the sixth-lowest among states in personal income tax and the second-lowest among states with a corporate income tax. Our state is quickly becoming one of the most business-friendly in the nation.

That was my pitch to Canoo CEO Tony Aquila, whose company manufactures breakthrough electric vehicles in Los Angeles. It worked. On June 17, Aquila announced that Canoo would build its U.S. manufacturing facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, about 45 minutes outside Tulsa.

His reasons? “Oklahoma was head and shoulders above the other contenders because of its leadership, energy-forward initiatives, strategic location, and the hardworking ethic of its people,” he said.

Canoo’s 400-acre campus will be in MidAmerica Industrial Park, a 9,000-acre industrial complex strategically located near some of the nation’s most highly traveled thoroughfares. The mega microfactory will include a full commercialization facility with a paint, body shop, and general assembly plant, as well as a low-volume industrialization facility. It is targeted to open in 2023.

Canoo will transform our workforce, bringing over 2,000 high-paying jobs to the state and accelerating the evolution of our economy.

When Oklahomans hired me, they demanded a turnaround. Through the ups and downs, my confidence has never wavered in Oklahoma’s ability to lead the nation in everything we do, from business to energy to innovation.

Canoo’s decision to come to Oklahoma is just the beginning. During his announcement, Aquila said as a CEO that he looks to go somewhere before the wave hits, adding that he believes Oklahoma is in that next wave. He’s right.

Kevin Stitt has served as the governor of Oklahoma since January 2019.

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