Supermarket chain Walmart have announced they will purchase 4,500 electric vehicles (EVs) from high-tech advanced mobility company Canoo. Walmart will begin using Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV), with the option to purchase up to 10,000 units in the future.
Walmart plans to use the vehicles to deliver online orders in a sustainable way to contribute towards its goal of achieving zero emissions by 2040. This is great news when a company as big as Walmart transitions to electric vehicles for its deliveries. Hopefully, it will inspire other large supermarket chains to do the same.
While the LDV is expected to begin hitting the road in 2023, the companies plan to kick off advanced deliveries to refine and finalise vehicle configuration in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex in the coming weeks.
Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV)
Canoo’s fully electric LDV is an American-made commercial electric vehicle optimised for sustainable last-mile delivery use cases. As with all Canoo vehicles, the LDV is built on a proprietary multi-purpose platform (MPP) architecture. This integrates the motors, battery module and other critical driving components.
The LDV has a last-mile delivery optimised cabin and customised cargo space. Canoo is utilising true steer by wire technology, reducing moving parts and cabin intrusion. This results in 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 speedy vehicle-to-door drop-off, including grocery and food/meal delivery. Its customised interior is designed for small package delivery, at competitive per stop economics. The modular design and 120 cubic feet cargo volume are adaptable to evolve with customer needs which contributes to a decreasing per unit investment over time.
Tony Aquila, Canoo CEO, said: “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.
“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 EV demand, especially at today’s gas prices.”
Expanding Walmart’s Last-Mile Delivery Fleet
Canoo’s electric vehicles will be driven by Walmart associates and used to deliver online orders. This range from groceries to general merchandise, as well as the potential to be used for Walmart GoLocal, the retailer’s delivery-as-a-service business.
David Guggina, Walmart US senior vice president of innovation and automation, said: “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.
“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.”
In addition to dedicated fulfilment centres, Walmart uses 3,800 of its stores, which are located within 10 miles of 90percent of the US population, to fulfil online orders. The retailer does this using a combination of Walmart associates, independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver Network, third-party delivery service providers.
In some locations, autonomous vehicles and drones make deliveries. Through their expansive last-mile delivery network, Walmart can reach 80 percent of the US population with same-day delivery on a growing assortment of items.
Collaborating Close to Home
Canoo’s agreement with Walmart builds on the company’s existing commitments in the state of Arkansas. Last year Canoo announced it had selected Bentonville, Arkansas, as its headquarters and Pryor, Oklahoma as the site for its US manufacturing. This further establishes an electric vehicle ecosystem in the heartland to create thousands of technology and manufacturing jobs in the surrounding communities.
Guggina added: “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”
Canoo anticipates starting production of the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022.