Walmart has agreed to purchase at least 4,500 vans from electric vehicle startup Canoo as part of its ongoing effort to expand its delivery services.
As CNBC reported Tuesday (July 12), the deal could see the retail giant purchase as many as 10,000 of Canoo’s all-electric Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles, a small electric van built for local delivery service.
Walmart needs vehicles to help with its plans to boost its delivery operations. Last week, the company said its direct-to-fridge grocery delivery service InHome is now available as an add-on within its Walmart+ membership program.
The company has said this move turns two standalone memberships into a single experience, allowing members to choose a membership plan that works best for them based on the type of delivery service they need.
Introduced in 2019, InHome brings groceries and other essentials to customers’ homes, whether that means to their doorsteps or directly into their refrigerators.
In January, Walmart said it was hiring 3,000 associate drivers to expand its InHome direct-to-fridge service to 30 million U.S. households by the end of 2022.
Around the same time, Walmart and FedEx said they both planned to add several thousand electric delivery vans to their fleets over the next few years thanks to an agreement with General Motors’ BrightDrop division.
That deal saw Walmart reserve 5,000 electric vans, while FedEx said it would request 2,000 additional vehicles from the company, on top of the 500 it had ordered in 2021.
That number could balloon to 20,000 vans, Richard Smith, Fedex’s regional president of the Americas, said in January.
“BrightDrop’s real,” he said. “They’re here now. Their trucks are on the road in California for us delivering packages. They have a vehicle that works as advertised, and we love it. We want to buy a lot more of them.”