Walmart Invested in These EVs, and the Company’s Stock Jumped

Walmart has invested in EVs from a startup to replace its gas-powered delivery fleet.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 29, 2022
Walmart
hopes to electrify its delivery vehicle fleet in a move to reach zero emissions by 2040, and it's partnering with a neighboring
EV
startup to do just that.
As
Car and Driver
reports, Walmart and EV startup Canoo have inked an agreement for the former to buy 4,500 electric vehicles from the latter for its last-mile delivery needs.
It's also leaving itself open to purchase up to 10,000 more of what Canoo calls its Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles (LDV) at a later date. The first LDVs should hit the roads sometime in 2023 but will begin limited service in 2022 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

News that made Canoo’s stock jump

With the retail giant behind it, Canoo's stock valuation jumped to nearly double the value it closed at the previous day ($4.65 per share compared with its previous closing at $2.37). 
But for a company that went public in 2020 at $22.75 a share, it's a small step in a better direction for the startup, which has recently made headlines for being in dire straits financially.
And with
Walmart
supporting an EV startup—which also happens to be headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas—the outlook for wider adoption of electrified fleet vehicles is pretty rosy.
Per the Department of Energy, electric vehicles have the potential to improve overall fleet efficiency while reducing vehicle operation and maintenance costs.

What is Canoo?

Canoo is an electric vehicle startup with plans to sell a pod-shaped electric vehicle called the Lifestyle Vehicle in the near future. 
While the consumer version of Canoo's EV will be a utility vehicle capable of seating up to seven, the LDV will ditch the passenger seating for increased cargo space. Canoo says its LDV will have 250 miles of range from its 80-kWh battery. as well as 1,464 lbs. payload capacity.
Walmart isn't Canoo's first time rubbing elbows with the big guys. This deal follows another fleet deal with
NASA
, which wants to use the LV as ground transport as part of its Artemis program, slated to return humans to the moon in 2025.

Wait, we're going back to the moon?

Yes, and automakers are more involved than you'd realize. NASA chose Canoo because a modified version of the LV would be capable of transporting four suited astronauts, three crew, and a driver. Plus, it's emissions-free. So that's great on the ground, but what would they be driving up there?
General Motors is currently working with Lockheed Martin to create a new lunar rover for the journey, called the Lunar Terrain Vehicle. GM will probably contribute its battery storage and propulsion know-how to the project.
And SpaceX—
Tesla
CEO Elon Musk's space transport venture—is developing the program's lunar lander.

What is last-mile delivery?

Last-mile delivery is essentially the final leg of the journey of a package from the retailer to your doorstep. 
While ships bring in cargo from manufacturing facilities overseas and trains and trucks transport them overland from shipping hubs to distribution centers, last-mile
delivery
vehicles are the ones that bring packages from those distribution and fulfillment centers to the customers.
Electrifying a delivery fleet can save companies money but don't expect to see a penny of that as it reinvests what it saved elsewhere.

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