National Clean Fleets Partner: Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola Charges Forward With Hybrid Delivery Trucks
Clean Fleets News
Sept. 8, 2011
Electric trucks to serve urban markets, cut fossil fuel consumption
ATLANTA – As part of Coca-Cola's on-going efforts to innovate through its fleet of distribution vehicles, the company will soon deliver select products in five U.S. cities with all of their normal fizz, but less of the gas. Beginning in September 2011, six eStar all-electric, zero-emission trucks will be part of Coca-Cola's growing fleet of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in North America, an AFV fleet that will surpass 750 by the end of 2011.
Currently, Coca-Cola has the largest heavy-duty hybrid electric fleet in North America with more than 650 hybrid delivery trucks deployed in major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Miami. Coca-Cola is also charging ahead with the deployment of its six all-electric trucks. The new eStar trucks will be deployed in San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Conn., with two trucks in Los Angeles. The eStar vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually.
The introduction of the eStar vehicles into the Coca-Cola fleet is the latest step in the company's commitment to energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Their launch also coincides with a promising new partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE). DOE recently recognized Coca-Cola as a partner of the National Clean Fleets Partnership Program. Announced by President Barack Obama, the unique public-private partnership helps companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. The partnership aims to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient vehicles nationwide.
"We are honored to join the Department of Energy and the Clean Fleets members to strengthen our sustainability efforts and make more of an impact in the energy efficiency space," said Steven Saltzgiver, Director of Fleet Operations, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Coca-Cola is committed to investing in alternative fuel vehicles and innovative fleet technologies. This recognition is validation of our efforts to date and motivation to do even more in the future."
The eStar vehicles are built by Navistar, Inc., an American manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The trucks run up to 100 miles per charge and can be fully recharged in six to eight hours. A quick-change cassette-type battery can be swapped out in 20 minutes, enabling around-the-clock operations and aligning the vehicles as an absolute alternative to fossil-fuel urban delivery trucks. Unlike other electric trucks, which are reconfigured models of fossil-fuel trucks, the eStar vehicles have been purpose-built for electric power with a low center of gravity and strategic battery placement.
"The eStar is a smart option for businesses that are looking to positively impact the environment through energy efficiency and sustainability," said Mark Aubry, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Electric Vehicles, Navistar. "Each eStar can save a company up to 60 percent in fuel costs, and at the end of its lifecycle, more than 50 percent of the vehicle is recyclable."
The eStar also features a windshield design with nearly 180-degree visibility, improving safety, and a low-floor design allowing easy loading and unloading. The vehicle's noise level is almost non-existent.
In North America, Coca-Cola is also evaluating light-duty propane and natural gas options and is training its drivers in eco-driving techniques, such as minimal braking and early gear changes, through the company's proprietary Smartdriver program.
"Our energy efficiency work is focused on meaningfully reducing the overall carbon footprint of our operations. We do this through a variety of technologies that produce energy efficiencies across all areas of our business, including fleet, manufacturing and sales and marketing equipment," said Brian Kelley, Chief Product Supply Officer at Coca-Cola Refreshments. "The new eStar vehicles are not only an example of our investment in innovation, but also an example of how we are delivering on our promise to grow the business without growing carbon emissions by consistently improving our energy efficiency practices."
Alternative fuel vehicles are a key component of The Coca-Cola Company's Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection strategy in North America. Other initiatives include the Company's goal of phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in all its new vendors and cooling equipment by 2015 and testing fuel cell technology in production facilities to provide electricity while reducing the facility's carbon footprint. Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection is one of seven focus areas that make up Coca-Cola's Live Positively platform, the company's commitment to making a positive difference in the world by growing business in economically, environmentally and socially sustainable ways.