Mega retailer WalMart unveiled the prototype for a new eco-friendly delivery truck called the WAVE, short for WalMart Advanced Vehicle Experience, at the Mid America Trucking Show last week. The truck, which is not guaranteed to ever make it to the road, still served as a talking point for WalMart’s latest efforts to show they’re trying to be more mindful of the sustainability of our ecosystem.
In the video, WalMart’s Director of Logistics Elizabeth Fretheim walks us through the features of the truck, including how the engine includes a micro-turbine, battery system, and electric motor. The cabin of the truck features a sliding door and the driver of the truck would sit in the center of the cab instead of on the left. The electronic dashboard has two monitors, one on each side, that provide camera views of the outside of the truck as well as performance data.
The vehicle also features a full sized sleeper, which would no doubt come in handy for truckers who are required to be on the road for extended periods of time. The way the truck is constructed provides it with 20% improved aerodynamics, which makes it a more fuel efficient truck. The WAVE’s trailer is also made out of carbon fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel, but is approximately 4,000 pounds lighter on the WAVE truck, meaning less fuel burned while on the road.
The Capstone turbine allows the truck to use natural gas or other renewable fuels, which is an eventual goal of WalMart. Since the Capstone is cooled by air, there is no need for the traditional radiator.
Nearly 10 years ago, WalMart had pledged to double the fuel efficiency of its fleet, which according to Mashable is currently comprised of 6,500 tractors and 55,000 trailers. “[WAVE] may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches,” wrote Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillion. “I share it because it gives you a sense of how sustainability is helping us see things in new ways.”
The truck, which is being jokingly referred to as WalMart’s Optimus Prime, would certainly help the company reach its goal by 2015, if implemented into the fleet. The truck has only recently begun testing.
What do you think about the WAVE truck? If you saw one on the road would you think you were suddenly in some futuristic world? The design certainly stands out as something you’d see in a movie.