Walmart showcased its futuristic truck for the first time publicly this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems all in one package, developed in support of the company’s sustainability program.
"The creation of this showcase vehicle was only made possible through strong collaboration with our partners, and we thank each of them for their valuable contribution,” said Tracy Rosser, senior vice president of transportation at Walmart. “It’s important that we continue to work collectively on future innovations and challenge ourselves to look boldly at fleet efficiency in new and different ways." The prototype is the result of collaboration between Walmart and many vendors, including Peterbilt, ROUSH, Great Dane and Capstone Turbine. Almost every component on the vehicle is cutting edge and showcases innovations of the future that will drive increased efficiencies, according to the world’s largest retailer.
"Walmart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet’s emissions,” Rosser said. “The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals."
Innovation is key to improvement, and the project aims to demonstrate a wide range of cutting edge technologies and designs Walmart is considering to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet and lower the company’s carbon footprint. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels.
In 2005, Walmart, one of the nation’s largest private fleet operators, announced its goal to double fleet efficiency by 2015. Walmart trucks log millions of miles every year, so when it comes to sustainability and fleet efficiency, the goal is simple: deliver more merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. As of last year, the company had achieved an 84 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline.
Content courtesy of Green Retail Decisions