A Walmart truck unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky looks more like a big-rig robot straight out of the "Transformers" movie. While this unconventional tractor trailer can’t convert itself to a 50-foot walking sentient being, it can deliver Walmart wares with ultra-fuel efficient capability.
Says MSN Money on April 1:
The tractor-trailer, which has taken the Internet by storm, is causing auto geeks to drool with its advanced turbine powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, leading edge aerodynamics, and more.
Doug McMillon, president and CEO at Walmart, said: “When Walmart began our sustainability journey, I never thought it would lead us to trucks like this.”
The concept truck carries the acronym W.A.V.E. – Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – and is 20 percent more aerodynamic and fuel efficient than any of the other 6,500 rigs in the fleet of company-owned trucks. It’s also two tons lighter than a standard 18-wheeler.
Plus it’s just way cool looking.
“We're just beginning formal testing, but this Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck will be 20 percent more aerodynamic than our current trucks and have a micro-turbine hybrid powertrain that can run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel and probably other fuels still to be developed,” McMillon said.
But we won’t be seeing this futuristic truck turning heads through our towns anytime soon. It’s just a concept vehicle at this point, and the astronomical cost to build it is too cost-inhibitive to roll them out nationwide.
“It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches. I share it because it gives you a sense of how sustainability is helping us see things in new ways,” McMillon added.