EV Company Canoo Spent Double Its Annual Revenue on CEO’s Private Jet in 2023

Mike Powers

Some might argue the entire point of the electric vehicle industry is to make the world a better place by cutting carbon emissions and fighting climate change. That’s what makes it so hilarious that the EV startup Canoo seems to have spent twice what it generated in revenue last year on the CEO’s private jet.

Canoo’s recent full-year earnings report for 2023, released this week, shows that the company spent $1.7 million reimbursing Aquila Family Ventures, a company owned by Canoo’s CEO, Tony Aquila, as first reported by TechCrunch Monday. The charges to the company are related to “aircraft reimbursement,” the filings state.

“Mr. Aquila, through an entity owned and controlled by him (Aquila Family Ventures, LLC (“AFV”)), owns a personal aircraft that was acquired without our resources, which aircraft he uses for business travel. We reimburse Mr. Aquila for certain costs and third-party payments associated with the use of his personal aircraft for Company-related business travel, excluding certain incidental fees and expenses,” the filings read.

Meanwhile, the company only brought in $886,000 in revenue during the same year. Doing a quick bit of mental arithmetic, it would appear that, yes, the company did, indeed, spend more on its executive’s air travel expenses than it did selling electric vehicles.

This news is both funny and sad, although it’s not unusual for companies to operate in the red for years and years. It took Uber until last year to turn a profit.

There is, however, a certain beautiful and terrible irony to the fact that the company is spending more money, not selling world-saving vehicles. TechCrunch gives more details on Canoo’s large expenses versus its general lack of revenue over the past few years:

The company generated $886,000 in revenue in 2023 compared to zero dollars in 2022, as the company delivered 22 vehicles to entities like NASA and the state of Oklahoma. And it did reduce its loss from operations by nearly half, from $506 million in 2022 to $267 million in 2023. The revenue-to-losses gap is still considerable though: The company reported total net losses of $302.6 million in 2023.

Gizmodo reached out to Canoo for comment and will update this story if it responds.

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