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Reuters reports that Walmart will buy 4,500 electric vehicles from EV manufacturer Canoo "as part of the U.S. retailer's goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Walmart also said yesterday that it has "an option to purchase up to 10,000 units as it electrifies its delivery fleet."

The story notes that "in June, Walmart said it was expanding transportation pilots with the manufacturers of electric, hydrogen and natural gas-powered vehicles, including Cummins Inc. and Daimler Truck's Freightliner.  The retailer in January said it had reserved 5,000 electric delivery vans with General Motors' commercial EV business, BrightDrop."

The purchase agreement reportedly "includes Canoo's fully electric Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle (LDV). The EV startup anticipates starting production of the LDVs beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the statement."

KC's View:

This seems a particularly apt decision for Walmart to make in the context of yesterday's story about California cities deciding to prohibit the building of any new gas stations - after all, why dedicate new land to technology that eventually will be obsolete?

Those California cities may be a little ahead of the curve, but I think Walmart is making the move at exactly the right moment.  Why invest in the past when you can invest in the future?  This decision could even be self-fulfilling … because Walmart does it, the investment curve for EVs will accelerate, which will hasten the obsolescence of fossil fuel-thirsty vehicles.

Leaders lead.  Almost as important, leaders decide to lead.