Wal-Mart begins testing four green vehicles

Wal-Mart begins testing four green vehicles

Wal-Mart Stores will test four different types of environmentally friendly heavy-duty vehicles--two hybrids and two alternatively-fueled trucks--throughout 2009. The company is working with ArvinMeritor, Eaton, Peterbilt, International and others to double its fuel efficiency by 2015, from its 2005 baseline

Wal-Mart Stores will test four different types of environmentally friendly heavy-duty vehicles--two hybrids and two alternatively-fueled trucks--throughout 2009. The company is working with ArvinMeritor, Eaton, Peterbilt, International and others to double its fuel efficiency by 2015, from its 2005 baseline.

“In order to meet our goal of doubling our fleet efficiency, we are taking an active role in the development of these technologies,” said Chris Sultemeier, senior vp of transportation for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We look forward to determining if these technologies will help reduce our environmental footprint, are viable for our business and provide a return on investment.”

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Wal-Mart Stores will test four different types of environmentally friendly heavy-duty vehicles--two hybrids and two alternatively-fueled trucks--throughout 2009. The company is working with ArvinMeritor, Eaton, Peterbilt, International and others to double its fuel efficiency by 2015, from its 2005 baseline.

“In order to meet our goal of doubling our fleet efficiency, we are taking an active role in the development of these technologies,” said Chris Sultemeier, senior vp of transportation for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We look forward to determining if these technologies will help reduce our environmental footprint, are viable for our business and provide a return on investment.”

The pilot program will involve testing the following four vehicle types:

  • A full-propulsion ArvinMeritor hybrid, which the company said is the first vehicle of its type, in the Detroit area this year. The hybrid has both mechanical and electrical propulsion systems, using the electric motor primarily during low-speed, high-load operations such as accelerating from a stop. Once the vehicle is moving, the mechanical propulsion system blends with the electric motor until it reaches highway speeds, where the drive phases to completely mechanical. In addition, the electric system provides extra power during hill climbing, and the engine charges an onboard energy storage system at highway speeds. According to the company, the technology could help Wal-Mart increase its fleet efficiency up to 25%.
  • Fifteen trucks at Wal-Mart’s Buckeye, AZ distribution center will be converted to run on Reclaimed Grease Fuel, made with the waste brown cooking grease from food service in Wal-Mart stores. The remaining trucks at the facility will operate on a 80/20 blend of biodiesel made of reclaimed waste yellow cooking oil.
  • Five Peterbilt Model 386 heavy-duty hybrid trucks with diesel-electric hybrid power systems will be based in Dallas, Houston, Apple Valley, Calif., Atlanta and the Washington/Baltimore regions. Developed by Eaton Corp. and Paccar, the power systems provide electric power to assist the motor when the truck needs extra power. It also serves as the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to reduce engine idling.
  • Four Peterbilt Model 386 trucks will operate on liquid natural gas (LNG), based out of Wal-Mart’s Southern California distribution center. The company will also operate one yard truck on the distribution center property.

According to the retailer, Wal-Mart achieved more than a 25% increase in efficiency within its private fleet between 2005 and 2008, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and fuel use through technological advances, better delivery routes and loading its trailers more efficiently.

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