A new collaboration between Walmart, Capstone Turbine, and about 20 other firms is meant to illustrate the ways that future trucks will conserve energy.
The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience truck, or WAVE, is a guinea pig for commercial trucks, powered by microturbine motors.
The hybrid electric truck is estimated to reduce overall fuel consumption by more than half and cut total energy costs by more than 200 percent on short routes, where the microturbine and electric motor can work harder than the traditional gasoline engine.
Experts describe a microturbine as a kind of small windmill that uses air power to provide energy for a generator. In a hybrid truck design, these technologies can be extremely effective in reducing the amount of fuel that a vehicle needs. The WAVE truck also has aerodynamic design, with a sleek, contoured truck cab.
While this truck is not yet in mass production, it is being researched in project trials. Hopefully it will help usher in a new era of energy-efficient trucks.