Walmart has signed a definitive agreement with high-tech advanced mobility company Canoo to purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles, beginning with the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV), with the option to buy up to 10,000 units. The vehicles will deliver online orders in a sustainable way, contributing to Walmart’s target of achieving zero emissions by 2040.
While the LDV is expected to hit the road in 2023, the companies are rolling out advance deliveries to refine and finalize vehicle configuration in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex in the next few weeks.
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As with all Canoo vehicles, the American-made LDV is built on a proprietary multipurpose platform architecture that integrates the motors, battery module and other critical driving components. The vehicle has a last-mile delivery optimized cabin and customized cargo space. Canoo employs true steer-by-wire technology, which reduces moving parts and cabin intrusion, leading to more usable interior space, better driver ergonomics, and the addition of a panoramic window to improve road visibility.
The LDV is engineered for high-frequency stop-and-go deliveries and quick vehicle-to-door drop-off, including grocery and food/meal delivery. Its customized interior is designed for small-package delivery at competitive per-stop economics. The modular design and 120-cubic-foot cargo volume are adaptable to adjust to customer needs, which contributes to a decreasing per-unit investment over time.
“We are proud to have been selected by Walmart, one of the most sophisticated buyers in the world, to provide our high-tech, all-electric, American-made Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle to add to their impressive logistics capabilities,” said Tony Aquila, investor, chairman and CEO of Bentonville, Ark.-based Canoo, which has teams in California, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. “Our LDV has the turning radius of a small passenger vehicle on a parking-friendly, compact footprint, yet the payload and cargo space of a commercial delivery vehicle. This is the winning algorithm to seriously compete in the last-mile delivery race globally. Walmart’s massive store footprint provides a strategic advantage in today’s growing ‘Need it now’ mindset and an unmatched opportunity for growing [electric vehicle] demand, especially at today’s gas prices.”
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Canoo’s electric vehicles will be driven by Walmart associates and used to deliver online orders ranging from groceries to general merchandise, with the additional potential of being used by Walmart GoLocal, the company’s delivery-as-a-service business.
“We’re thrilled to continue diversifying our last-mile delivery fleet with Canoo’s unique and sustainably focused all-electric technology, which will provide our associates with safe, ergonomic delivery vehicles,” noted David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S. “Today, the closest Walmart to customers is right in their pockets – it’s the Walmart app. By continuing to expand our last-mile delivery fleet in a sustainable way, we’re able to provide customers and Walmart+ members with even more access to same-day deliveries while keeping costs low.”
As well as operating dedicated fulfillment centers, Walmart uses 3,800 of its stores, which are located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, to fulfill online orders. The retailer uses a combination of Walmart associates, independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver Network, third-party delivery service providers, and, in some locations, autonomous vehicles and drones, to make deliveries. Through its extensive last-mile delivery network, Walmart is able to reach 80% of the U.S. population with same-day delivery of a growing assortment of items.
“We’re encouraged that by being located in close proximity to the Canoo headquarters, we have the advantage to collaborate and innovate in real time as well as the opportunity to aid in the creation of manufacturing and technology jobs here in our home state of Arkansas,” added Guggina.
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Canoo anticipates starting production of the LDVs beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide.
This story originally appeared on Progressive Grocer.