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08/23/2022

Walmart launches delivery with Canoo all-electric vans

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is pushing ahead with electric van deliveries.

Walmart is going live with an electric delivery van agreement it entered in July.

Within two weeks of signing an agreement to purchase 4,500 all-electric “Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles (LDVs) from electric vehicle maker Canoo, Walmart began deploying Canoo LDVs to perform real-world deliveries, seven days a week, for its InHome service in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex (DFW).

[Read more: Walmart to buy 4,500 all-electric delivery vans from Canoo]

Launched in 2019, Walmart InHome delivers fresh groceries, everyday essentials and other products directly into customers’ homes, including placing items straight into their kitchen or garage refrigerator.  The service also provides pick up for Walmart.com returns. Recently, Walmart said it was offeringInHome as optional add-on within its paid membership progam, Walmart+.

The LDV is built on Canoo's proprietary multi-purpose platform (MPP) architecture that integrates the motor, battery module, critical driving components and proprietary flat leaf spring suspension. This platform is designed to enable more usable space for the cabin and cargo area.

The LDV is engineered for high frequency stop-and-go deliveries and rapid vehicle to door drop-off, including grocery and food/meal delivery. The interior is customized to Walmart's specific use-case at competitive per stop economics. The modular design and 120 cubic feet of cargo volume that's adaptable to evolve with Walmart's business strategy, including its focus to become a regenerative zero emissions company by 2040.  

Ergonomically engineered for the driver, the modular vehicle is designed for swift loading and unloading. The smaller footprint, tight turning radius and ease of maneuverability are intended to support narrow roads and driveway parking.

In 2021, Canoo announced it had selected Bentonville, Ark., hometown of Walmart, as its headquarters. The vans will be built at Canoo’s factory in Oklahoma.

The Canoo deal is Walmart’s third electric vehicle deal. In January, the retailer entered into an agreement to reserve 5,000 all-electric delivery vans from General Motors’ BrightDrop subsidiary. It also purchased 1,100 electric vans fromFord E-Transit.

Walmart intends to us electric vehicles to deliver online orders in a sustainable way which will also contribute to the company’s goal to achieve zero-emissions by 2040.

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.

“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,” David Guggina, senior VP of innovation and automation, Walmart U.S., said in previous commentary on Walmart’s latest electric vehicle deal. “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.”

“It's been awesome to work with Walmart's highly experienced team to rapidly deploy our LDV' in real world use cases to finalize a configuration for Walmart," said Tony Aquila, investor, chairman & CEO at Canoo. "Our LDV has been engineered to enable a wide range of package deliveries, including refrigerated items, groceries and general merchandise – and do it efficiently, emission free and with a high level of driver comfort and ergonomics. And we have been turning a lot of heads in the neighborhoods when driving by in our uniquely identifiable vehicles."

Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and clubs under 46 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites.