CALSTART, the nation’s leading clean transportation consortium, announced that Coca-Cola Refreshments and Paul F. Skalny, Acting Executive Director of Product Development and Director of Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC) National Automotive Center, have won the prestigious CALSTART Blue Sky Awards for 2011.
The awards recognize outstanding marketplace contributions made by companies, organizations and individuals to clean air, energy efficiency and the clean transportation industry.
Coca-Cola and Skalny were presented with the Blue Sky Award and the Blue Sky Leadership Award, respectively, in Baltimore at the recent 2011 Hybrid, Electric, and High Efficiency Truck Users Forum (HTUF) & Expo.
Coca-Cola is an industry leader in alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
Currently, the Company has the largest heavy duty hybrid electric fleet in North America, with more than 650 hybrid delivery trucks in major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Miami.
By the end of this year, Coca-Cola will have more than 750 AFVs deployed throughout its fleet.
The Company continues to pilot additional fleet technologies including natural gas, propane-powered and all-electric vehicles. Last month Coca-Cola launched new all-electric trucks in five key markets across the country.
Skalny of TARDEC has quietly worked behind the scenes to lead the charge to energy efficient fleets for military applications, while also pushing to develop a new and robust commercial market for clean vehicles.
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“In order for the nation to move to a cleaner and more secure transportation energy future, we will need fleets and consumers to do the right thing and buy vehicles that are better for the environment,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART. “Coca-Cola Refreshments is the winner of this year’s Blue Sky Award because of their commitment to investing in hybrid and clean fuel trucks.”
“Coca-Cola is honored to be the 2011 recipient of the CALSTART Blue Sky Award,” said Steve Saltzgiver, Director of Fleet Operations, as he accepted the honor on behalf of the company. “Investing in alternative fuel vehicles and innovative fleet technologies are important components to achieving better energy efficiencies and reducing our impact on the planet.
“This recognition is validation of our efforts to date and motivation to continue.”
The Company’s alternative fleet has grown most substantially in geographies where financial support for AFVs is greatest, he said, and it strives to make the most strategic investments by seeking tax incentives and grants where possible.
“Paul (Skalny) has been one of the nation’s most innovative and influential leaders in the development of advanced technologies for trucks, in particular hybrid systems,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART. “Without Paul, it is unlikely hybrid trucks would have reached the market in the timeframe they did, with fleets like Coca-Cola able to deploy them.
“Paul has an ability to see over the horizon to what is needed, for both the military and commercial arenas, and his vision and direct support of efforts like HTUF have helped make his vision a reality today.”
CALSTART, North America’s leading clean transportation technologies and solutions consortium, consults internationally to over 130 member companies and clients. CALSTART serves as a catalyst for creating jobs, cleaning the air, reducing fuel consumption and mitigating the threat of climate change.
For more information on HTUF and other CALSTART programs, visit: www.calstart.org
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, TARDEC is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Department of Defense (DOD) manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems.
With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC is a full life-cycle, systems engineering support provider-of-first-choice for all DOD ground combat and combat support weapons, equipment and vehicle systems.