On Tuesday, electric car startup Canoo revealed that Walmart had ordered 4,500 of its Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles. With more cargo space instead of a front passenger seat and slide-out shelves in the back that are sized to fit the totes used by the retail behemoth, Canoo and Walmart are customizing the LDV for last-mile deliveries.
“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, an investor and the chairman and CEO of Canoo, said. “Walmart’s massive store footprint provides a strategic advantage in today’s growing ‘Need it now’ mindset and an unmatched opportunity for growing EV demand, especially at today’s gas prices.” says the report.
Canoo has recently faced some difficulties. It was originally going to be a subscription-only electric van, but after going through a management change and a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, it decided to pivot. The company was founded by alumni of Faraday Future and is now based, like Walmart, in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was awarded a contract to supply NASA with a new astronaut transport vehicle in April of this year, but the following month it had to issue a warning that it might not have enough money to cover its expenses.
There will be additional electric vans from Walmart. It agreed to purchase 5,000 EVs from GM’s startup BrightDrop in January. Walmart also claims to have the option to purchase up to 10,000 Canoo LDVs in order to meet its 2040 goal of zero emissions. According to Canoo, Walmart will receive the first LDVs in 2023.