Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. says it is converting more of its company vehicles to hybrid-electric technology to increase fuel efficiency and reduce polluting carbon emissions.
Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability, said the company's goal is to "reduce the carbon footprint embedded in 'the drink in your hand' by 25 percent by 2020." That footprint includes the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the company's vehicles.
To that end, Coca-Cola announced Wednesday that it will convert 100 newly purchased 2014 Chevrolet Express service vans to hybrid-electric vehicles by year's end. Hybrid-electric vehicles also use fuel, including diesel.
Including the latest announcement, Coca-Cola spokeswoman Sheree Robinson said the company has about 870 alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet. In addition to hybrid-electric, some vehicles are all electric, and others use compressed natural gas or liquid natural gas.
The new vans will have powertrains developed by Boston-based XL Hybrids, which produces the technology for commercial vans and trucks.
Coca-Cola said tests show a 15 to 20 percent fuel reduction compared with the company's non-hybrid vans. The new 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.
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