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Walmart showcases 'truck of the future'

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Walmart (NYSE: WMT) showcased a futuristic truck with new energy efficient features as the retailer drives toward meeting sustainability objectives.

The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics, an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain, electrified auxiliary components, and sophisticated control systems all in one package, developed in support of the company's sustainability program.

Walmart operates the nation's largest private delivery fleet, and in 2005, announced its goal to double fleet efficiency by 2015. The goal is simple: deliver more merchandise while driving fewer miles on the most efficient equipment. As of last year, the company had achieved an 84 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over its 2005 baseline.

"Walmart is continually looking for innovative ways to increase our efficiencies and reduce our fleet's emissions," said Tracy Rosser, senior VP of transportation at Walmart. "The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience is a bold step in transportation technologies that, although not on the road in its current form, will serve as a learning platform for the future that will accelerate our progress toward our goals."

The truck represents one of the designs Walmart is considering in an effort to improve the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet and lower the company's carbon footprint. Although the prototype currently runs on diesel, its turbine is fuel neutral and can run on compressed or liquid natural gas, biofuels or other fuels.

The prototype is the result of collaboration between Walmart and several vendors, including Peterbilt, Roush Engineering, Great Dane Trailers and Capstone Turbine.

For more:
-See this Walmart press release

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