Walmart unveils the WAVE concept fuel-efficient rig

Walmart unveiled its Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) concept truck at the company’s recent Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting.

The WAVE will be 20 percent more aerodynamic than Walmart’s current tractor trailers, according to Doug McMillon, the company’s president and CEO.

The concept truck has a range-extended hybrid powertrain, made up of a Capstone micro-turbine and an electric motor, that can run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel and “probably other fuels still to be developed,” he said. “It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches.”

The WAVE has an aerodynamic cab which sits on top of the powertrain. The driver sits in the middle of the cab, which is tapered to blend into the trailer itself.

Conventional gauges have been replaced with LCD screens.

There is an area in the rear of the cab for the driver to sleep.

The WAVE’s 53-foot trailer has a convex nose to reduce drag, plus increase cargo space. Made of carbon fiber (a first for trailer construction), it is some 4,000 pounds lighter than conventional trailers, allowing the WAVE to carry more cargo without sacrificing power or fuel consumption.

The concept truck is the latest in the company’s efficiency program for its fleet of more than 7,000 vehicles.