Wal-Mart Truck: Fuel-Efficient Big Rig To Make Delivery Sustainable

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 08:29 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Wal-Mart debuted a fuel-efficient, futuristic tractor-truck at the Mid-American Trucking Show in Louisville last week that will join its fleet of thousands of big rigs and make the delivery of goods to its stores around the world more sustainable.

Wal-Mart has 6,500 tractors and 55,000 trailers. Company officials said the goal for the new truck, named Wal-Mart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE), is to reduce the enormous fleet's emissions, Mashable reported.

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"We're just beginning formal testing, but this Wal-Mart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck will be 20 percent more aerodynamic than our current trucks and have a micro-turbine hybrid powertrain that can run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel and probably other fuels still to be developed," Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart, said in a statement in February.

"It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches. I share it because it gives you a sense of how sustainability is helping us see things in new ways," McMillon added.

The fuel-efficient truck's lightweight carbon-fiber body is two tons lighter than trucks on the road today. Also, Wal-Mart's new truck's futuristic design would give it an aerodynamic advantage, allowing it to use less fuel on the open road, Mashable reported.

The new truck's microturbine allows it to use a combination of natural gases and other fuels and can automatically choose the most efficient mode — charge, electric or hybrid electric — to run on.

McMillon wrote on the company's blog in February that the truck is part of Wal-Mart's mission for greater sustainability.

"This was just one of the innovations we discussed at our Sustainability Milestone Meeting," McMillon wrote. "We also talked about new ideas around less photogenic topics like air filters, buttons, and even landfills. By seeing through the lens of sustainability, we are accelerating the pace of innovation across our business."

If Wal-Mart's WAVE truck becomes a reality, it could have a significant impact. The company has 11,302 locations in 27 countries, according to CNBC.

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