Last month, Walmart Stores Inc., along with partners Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine, revealed its Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) concept truck at its Sustainability Milestone Meeting. And not only is the WAVE’s trailer composed mostly of carbon fiber, but its the first time carbon fiber has been used to make a trailer.
In 2005, Walmart set a goal to double the efficiency of its truck fleet by 2015. By utilizing carbon fiber, they were able to shed about 4,000 pounds thus allowing for more cargo.
“The WAVE truck’s batteries and electric motor are coupled with a diesel microturbine by Capstone Turbine Corp. (Chatsworth, Calif., USA). Its C30 (30 kW) and C65 (65 kW) “range extender” turbogenerators – which can also use natural gas, biodiesel or aviation fuel (Avgas) – fire up after EV batteries reach a set stage of discharge, recharging the batteries and extending driving range up to 500 miles, depending on the type and size of vehicle.”
As mentioned before, Walmart Stores Inc. claims this is the first time carbon fiber has been utilized to make a trailer but it is also the first time a 53 foot continuous carbon fiber panel has ever been made.
The cab section of the WAVE truck allows the driver to sit in the center of the console rather than the left, and features an electronic dash and a full size sleeper for the driver. The nose is convex which increases the aerodynamics of the entire truck and is said to be 20% more aerodynamic than the company’s current trucks. It also has a sliding entry door.
No real concrete word on how soon we could see this truck come to fruition, or even at all. But Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon wrote, “It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches.” Be sure to check back with us for updates and you know we will be all over this! To read more notes from President and CEO Doug McMillon check out his notes from the Milestone Meeting.