Walmart unveils concept for energy
efficient carbon-fibre truck

| 14 comments
 

News: American supermarket giant Walmart has unveiled a prototype for a fuel-efficient truck with a streamlined cab and the first trailer made entirely of carbon fibre.

Walmart collaborated with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine to create the design, known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – or Wave.

The radical design features a tapered nose and cabin to improve aerodynamics by 20 per cent over lorries currently used by Walmart.

The cabin is accessed by a sliding door featuring two windows to increase the driver's visibility. Inside, there's only one seat and the driving position is in the centre, allowing the cabin to be narrower and more streamlined.

The dashboard comprises two screens, positioned either side of the steering wheel. "The dash is electronic, and therefore customisable to the gauges and performance data that particular driver wants to monitor," said a spokesperson from Walmart.

Walmart unveils concept for energy efficient carbon-fibre truck

Behind the driver is a full-sized sleeper cabin allowing them to take breaks and nap during long-haul journeys.

The trailer section is the first to be built completely of carbon fibre. Walmart claims the two side panels, at 16-metres long, are the largest single pieces of carbon fibre ever made.

Using this material makes the trailer 1814 kilograms lighter than conventional ones.

Walmart unveils concept for energy efficient carbon-fibre truck

Walmart says the vehicle's engine combines a microturbine-hybrid powertrain with an electric motor and battery storage system, meaning it could run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel "and probably other fuels still to be developed."

At present, the Wave remains a concept. "It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches," said Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon.

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| 14 comments

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Matt Hussey. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • Romain_M

    And Luigi Colani wasn’t consulted ?

    • yzorg

      They really should have consulted him. ;)

  • Z-dog

    Walmart may not have the best corporate history.

    Any company that forwards design should be applauded though. These advances can be used by other companies all around the world. Patent pending of course.

  • jam

    Well that’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • hector rod

    Awesome truck! Awesome company!

  • bonsaiman

    Ugliness seems to be Walmart’s second concern. Money is the first, of course.

  • riors

    Who would buy a truck at Walmart?

  • mitate

    Ugliness? What trucks until this have not been ugly, un-aerodynamic boxes? This is a huge step forward. A light, aerodynamic, fuel-efficient, not to mention good-looking design, and the Americans got there first. Well done Walmart.

    • Truckin’

      First? Sort of. Luigi Colani designed trucks which look a lot like this one way back in the late 70s.

  • Businessgypsy

    Smart,capable company that understands distribution logistics down to having an in-house meteorologist. Success is the metric of choice.

  • olof

    Oh, Americans + vehicle design… Bless ‘em. It’s like the eighties never happened.

  • Thomas Vermeulen

    Trailers made entirely from fibre -reinforced composite materials have already existed since the 90’s and were first developed and produced in Belgium.

    Now they are also made and sold in the US. They have the exact same advantages as the carbon fibre, they just cost a thousand times less. It’s not because it’s made with carbon fibre, that it’s revolutionary people!

  • mazi

    well, not a step forward but certainly a step away from the current model. Maybe somewhere after the first step we will start seeing progress!

  • Colin Dyas

    Nice design, but how is this efficient or effective? It makes as much sense as making high performance sports cars from lead. Surely Walmart should address is damaging global “Just in Time” logistics monster and be more conscious of local economies and local retailing before playing a green card related to expensive high-energy carbon production. Walmart should dump shareholder value models for shared value models and get real. I wonder if they be will use these lorries for the Ukraine campaign?