Coca-Cola service vans going hybrid electric

The Coca-Cola Company is converting all of its newly purchased 2014 Chevrolet Express (www.chevrolet.com/Express) service vans into fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles using XL Hybrids’ powertrain technology.

XL Hybrids (www.xlhybrids.com) designs, manufactures and installs hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vans and trucks. These powertrains can be installed on existing vehicles or as an upfit on new ones.

Coca-Cola (www.coca-cola.com), the world’s largest beverage company, is no stranger to fuel-efficient transportation. It currently operates the largest heavy duty hybrid electric delivery fleet in North America.

The addition of the 100 new hybrid service vans helps expand fuel-efficient options in the company’s light duty fleet.

 

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“Adoption of this hybrid technology supports Coca-Cola’s goal to reduce the carbon footprint embedded in ‘the drink in your hand’ by 25 percent by 2020,” says Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability for Coca-Cola. “We continue to make energy-saving investments because they are good for business, good for the communities we serve and good for the planet.”

Early test results of the hybrid technology showed a 15 to 20 percent fuel reduction compared to the company’s conventional vans, he notes. The 100 new hybrid vans are expected to eliminate about 4,000 total tons of carbon dioxide emissions that conventional vans would produce over their 10-year life span.

As a result of the low maintenance and fuel savings, the powertrain unit is expected to pay for itself three times over its life span.

The expansion of its light duty fleet is only one part of Coca-Cola’s overall energy-efficiency plan, Karas says. The company is exploring the use of other alternative fuel, such as natural gas and propane, and recently added 16 refrigerated plug-in electric vehicles to its fleet that delivers the company’s Odwalla brand beverages in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We are also training our drivers in eco-driving techniques, such as minimal braking and early gear changes, to help increase productivity,” he adds.

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