Walmart has signed a definitive agreement with electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo to add 4,500 vehicles to Walmart’s delivery fleet in one of the first steps to make the retailer reach its goal of zero emissions by 2040.
Retail giants are pivoting toward electric vehicles. Amazon signed a contract with electric vehicle automaker Rivian earlier this year for 100,000 electric vans for all of Amazon’s sustainable delivery needs. Walmart is now following suit, as the corporation has secured the opportunity for 4,500 of Canoo’s Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle. Walmart reportedly uses 3,800 of its retail stores, in addition to its fulfillment centers, to deliver online orders. Canoo won’t be ready to bring the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle to the streets until 2023, but Walmart’s early access to the vehicle is expected to hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the coming weeks.
“We’re thrilled to continue diversifying our last mile delivery fleet with Canoo’s unique and sustainably focused all-electric technology which will provide our associates with safe, ergonomic delivery vehicles,” said David Guggina in a Canoo press release. Guggina is the senior vice president of innovation and automation for Walmart U.S.
According to the Canoo website, the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle features two seats and has a 250 mile (402.34 kilometer) range on its 80 kilowatt hour battery. “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,” said Guggina. Last year, Canoo announced its base of operations would land in Bentonville, Arkansas. Which is coincidentally near Walmart’s headquarters. While the company made no indication they were working with Walmart in their announcement last fall, its possible that this EV agreement could have been in the works since then.
Efforts from Amazon and Walmart to pivot to greener delivery infrastructure could be exciting, but branding these companies as “green” ignores that the thesis statement of these companies is cashing in on consumerism. Walmart is also no stranger to greenwashing—conveying a misleading reputation of environmental sustainability—as the company was slapped with a $3 million fine by the Federal Trade Commission for falsely advertising some of their textile products as sustainable.