Coca-Cola claims nation’s largest hybrid delivery truck fleet

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Coca-Cola Enterprises on Friday, Jan. 16, announced plans to deploy an incremental 185 hybrid-electric trucks across the United States and Canada in 2009, bringing their total number of hybrid-electric delivery trucks to 327, the largest such fleet in North America.

Stan Meiburg, deputy regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, presented CCE with a leadership award on behalf of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative for the company’s commitment to hybrid vehicles to reduce diesel emissions. “EPA is proud to recognize the efforts of Coca-Cola Enterprises to improve air quality and protect public health,” Meiburg says. “Emissions from diesel engines are a serious public health threat and environmental challenge, and reducing these emissions is a priority for EPA.”

The company has 142 hybrid-electric delivery vehicles on the road, the majority of which are 12-bay box trucks (33,000 gross vehicle weight); CCE says this is the largest heavy-duty fleet in North America. Today, the company launched a new, larger hybrid-electric tractor (55,000 gross combination vehicle), which is the standard bulk delivery truck the company uses for large deliveries. The hybrid tractor uses about 30 percent less fuel and produces about 30 percent fewer emissions than standard tractors, according to the company; a motor/generator, working with the transmission and a series of lithium-ion batteries, allows the truck to source electrical power instead of gas when traveling at speeds below 30 mph, reducing emissions and fuel use. CCE says the tractor builds on the success it has had with its fleet of hybrid-electric 12-bay trucks and marries hybrid technology from Eaton with equipment from Kenworth and Cummins.

“I want to commend Coca-Cola Enterprises for receiving this award, and I am proud that this great company relies on Georgia as its home base,” says Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. “Their investment in hybrid-electric vehicles distinguishes the company amongst its peers and ensures that it remains at the forefront as a true leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability.”

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CCE says that beginning in 2001, it began an intensive research and design program with suppliers to develop, test and produce hybrid-electric trucks. By the end of 2008, CCE had deployed 142 hybrid-electric trucks in cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. In 2009, the company plans to deploy the larger hybrid tractors to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. Additionally, the company plans to deploy incremental hybrid 12-bay trucks to Albuquerque, Columbus, Jacksonville, Las Vegas and Montreal.

“Coca-Cola Enterprises has long been responsive to the needs of our local communities, and the continued expansion of our hybrid-electric fleet here in our hometown of Atlanta and across North America demonstrates our commitment to energy efficiency and climate change,” says John Brock, CCE chairman and chief executive officer. “With the deployment of our newer, larger hybrid delivery vehicles, CCE is continuing to explore ways to help our customers and communities through our corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts. These efforts help us capture operational efficiencies, drive innovation and effectiveness, and eliminate waste while simultaneously protecting the environment.”