Fuel costs are no joke to fleet managers — especially those who oversee large fleets of semitrailers that guzzle diesel at an average of 6 MPG. There’s been a lot of development into more fuel-efficient service vans and trucks, but the 18-wheeler has been largely overlooked.
But that is about to change. Retail giant Walmart has partnered with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine to design a high-tech, hybrid big rig that can use diesel, biodiesel and natural gas. The aerodynamics and hybrid engine would slash fuel costs across Walmart’s fleet of 6,000 trucks.
Called the WAVE (short for Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience), the concept truck features LCD monitors in the cabin, a carbon-fiber trailer and a sleek design that’s 20 percent more aerodynamic than standard semis.
Walmart President and CEO Don McMillon tells Wired that the truck might not make it out of R&D, but it’s a way for the company to experiment with new trucking technologies.
Check out this video for a look inside the WAVE: