Walmart is deploying a fleet of new electric delivery vehicles, and the first place they're trying them out is none other than Dallas-Fort Worth.
According to a release, Walmart signed up in July to buy 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from Canoo, a high-tech mobility company based in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Walmart bought Canoo's Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV), an adorable rounded van that will be driven by Walmart employees to deliver online orders, groceries, and general merchandise.
The LDV is expected to hit the road widely in 2023, but first they're refining the configuration with a test run in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Canoo's LDV is an all-American commercial EV optimized for sustainable "last mile" delivery use cases. It's engineered for high frequency stop-and-go deliveries and speedy vehicle to door drop-off, including groceries and food/meal delivery.
The cargo space is 120 cubic feet, with a modular design, designed for small package delivery, and small enough to be driven like a regular car, says Canoo CEO, chairman, and investor Tony Aquila in a statement.
"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," Aquila says. "This is the winning algorithm to seriously compete in the last mile delivery race, globally."
The LDVs will also potentially be used for Walmart GoLocal, their delivery-as-a-service business.
"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," says Walmart senior VP David Guggina.
It'll also allow Walmart to deliver online orders in a sustainable way that contributes to their goal of achieving zero-emissions by 2040.
In addition to dedicated fulfillment centers, Walmart uses 3,800 of its stores to fulfill online orders. The retailer currently does this using 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.
Last year Canoo, chose Walmart's hometown Bentonville, Arkansas, as its headquarters and Pryor, Oklahoma, as the site for its U.S. manufacturing — establishing an EV ecosystem in the heartland.