Dive Brief:

  • Walmart will purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo to fulfill e-commerce orders in 2023, the companies announced Tuesday.
  • Walmart has the option to purchase up to 10,000 units from Canoo and will be the first company to receive Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle. The Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles will be driven by Walmart employees, will deliver online orders such as groceries and could potentially be used for Walmart’s white-label delivery service GoLocal.
  • Walmart and Canoo said some “advanced deliveries” will begin in the coming weeks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to refine and finalize vehicle configuration. Canoo expects to start production on the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles in Q4 of this year.

Dive Insight:

Walmart is beefing up its delivery fleet as it gears up to fulfill more online orders with a short turnaround time, often in the same day.

The retailer touts its fulfillment centers and 3,800 stores that blanket the U.S. as the necessary infrastructure to meet on-demand delivery needs. Ninety percent of the country’s population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store, according to the release.

Now, Walmart is accelerating its investments in the vehicles and drivers necessary to bring orders to customers’ doorsteps. The company aims to hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers this year to fuel the expansion of its InHome grocery delivery service. It has also reserved 5,000 of GM subsidiary BrightDrop’s electric delivery vans as it pushes to keep pace with its 2040 zero emissions goal.

“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,” David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle is optimized for last-mile delivery by being “engineered for high frequency stop-and-go deliveries and speedy vehicle to door drop-off, including grocery and food/meal delivery,” per the 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,” Tony Aquila, investor, chairman and CEO of Canoo, said in a statement.

The electric vehicle order may not be the end for Walmart and Canoo’s working relationship. The companies are both headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, providing them “the advantage to collaborate and innovate in real-time,” Guggina said.



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