Walmart plans to purchase 4,500 Canoo Electric Delivery Vehicles to be used for last-mile...

Walmart plans to purchase 4,500 Canoo Electric Delivery Vehicles to be used for last-mile deliveries in support of its growing eCommerce business.

Photo: Canoo

Walmart signed a deal with Canoo, a high-tech advanced mobility company, to purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles, beginning with the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV). The agreement includes the option to purchase up to 10,000 units.

The vehicles will be used to for last-mile delivery for online orders done in a sustainable way, which will also contribute to Walmart's goal to achieve zero-emissions by 2040. While the LDV is expected to begin hitting the road in 2023, the companies plan to kick off advanced deliveries in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex in the coming weeks to refine and finalize vehicle configuration.

What is the Canoo Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV)?

Canoo's fully electric Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle is an American-made commercial EV optimized for sustainable last-mile delivery. As with all Canoo vehicles, the LDV is built on a proprietary multi-purpose platform that integrates the motors, battery module and other critical driving components.

The LDV has a cabin optimized for last-mile delivery. Steer-by-wire technology reduces the number of moving parts and cabin intrusion, resulting in more usable interior space, better driver ergonomics, and 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 customized interior is designed for small package delivery, at competitive per-stop economics, according to the manufacturer.

The modular design and 120 cubic feet of cargo volume are adaptable to evolve with 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, chairman and CEO of Canoo, in a release. "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."

Expanding Walmart's Last-Mile Delivery Fleet

Canoo's electric vehicles will be driven by Walmart associates and used to deliver online orders, from groceries to general merchandise. There's also the potential to use the EVs for Walmart GoLocal, the retailer'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," said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation, 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."

In addition to 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 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. Walmart can reach 80% of the U.S. 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 U.S. manufacturing, further establishing an EV ecosystem in the heartland.

"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.

Canoo anticipates starting production of the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022.