Electric vehicle startup Canoo announced on Tuesday that Walmart has placed an order for 4,500 of its Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles. Canoo and Walmart are customizing the LDV for last-mile deliveries, with added cargo space instead of a front passenger seat and slide-out shelves in the back designed to fit totes used by the retail giant.
“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,” said Tony Aquila, investor, chairman, and CEO of Canoo. “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.”
Canoo has had a rocky time of late. Founded by Faraday Future alumni and now based, like Walmart, in Bentonville, Arkansas, it originally planned a subscription-only electric van, then underwent a management change and a merger with a special purpose acquisition company that resulted in a pivot. In April of this year it won a contract to provide NASA with a new astronaut transport vehicle but the following month was forced to issue a warning that it might not have enough cash to pay its bills.
These won’t be Walmart’s only electric vans. In January it signed a deal to buy 5,000 EVs from GM’s BrightDrop startup. And Walmart says it has an option to buy up to 10,000 Canoo LDVs as part of its goal to reach zero emissions by 2040. Canoo says it will deliver the first LDVs to Walmart in 2023.