According to a report in Truck News, Walmart plans on doubling the fuel efficiency of its trucking fleet by next year. In order to show that it's not kidding around, the retailer has collaborated with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine to create a concept "truck of tomorrow" known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – or WAVE.
The vehicle features what Walmart describes as a "prototype advanced turbine-powered, range-extending series hybrid powertrain (or microturbine-hybrid powertrain) combined with an electric motor and battery storage system." It can reportedly run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel "and probably other fuels still to be developed."
Additionally, it is said to be 20 percent more aerodynamic than the company's existing trucks.
The cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver's seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver's preferences, and a full-sized sleeper.
The trailer is reportedly the first one to ever be built completely of carbon fiber, and also incorporates the first 53-foot-long (16 m) one-piece carbon fiber panels ever made. The use of that material results in claimed weight savings of approximately 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) over a conventional trailer. Both its aerodynamics and its cargo capacity are boosted by a convex nose that sits flush the concave backside of the tractor.
So, will we ever see one of the things on the highway? In a recent statement, Walmart President Doug McMillon wrote, "It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches."
If you like freaky-looking high-concept transport trucks, however, be sure to also check out the German Innotruck – which actually looks a bit like WAVE.
More information on the Walmart truck is available in the video below.