Green goes better with Coke, as seen through the Company's ongoing efforts to deliver their products via six all-electric, zero-emissions trucks built by eStar. These electric vehicles will join Coca-Cola’s growing fleet of 750 heavy-duty, alternative fuel vehicles.
Taking the Lead and Not Looking Back
The six electric Coca-Cola trucks are on the roads in San Francisco; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Hartford, Conn.; with two trucks in Los Angeles. These eStar vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually. The windshield design offers nearly 180-degree visibility, improving safety. The vehicle is almost completely quiet.
Accelerating the Adoption of Energy-Efficient Vehicles Nationwide
The eStar vehicles are 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). The DOE recognized Coca-Cola as a partner of the National Clean Fleets Partnership Program. Announced by President Barack Obama, the 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," says Steven Saltzgiver, director of fleet operations for 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, 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 operation 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," says Navistar’s Mark Aubry, vice president of electric vehicle sales and marketing. "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."
A Lighter Carbon Footprint Overall
"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," says 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—including electric and hybrid trucks—are a key component of The Coca-Cola Company's Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection strategy in North America. The Los Angeles Times reported that The Coca-Cola Company's new hybrid vehicles saved about 1 million gallons of diesel fuel last year, just as prices were topping $4 per gallon. The "smart driver" education program to reduce idling has also been effective. "Before we did this, our trucks were idling 30 percent of the time," Saltzgiver says. "We first went down to idling 20 percent of the time. Now we are down below 10 percent, with an ultimate goal of getting down to 5 percent."
Other initiatives include the Company's goal of phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in all its new vendors and cooling equipment by 2015 and testing fuel cell technology to power production facilities. 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. For more information on Live Positively, visit thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/index.html.
According to a 2011 Newsweek article, The Coca-Cola Company is in the top 100 nationally when it comes to green rankings. The magazine teamed up with two leading research organizations to ignore purported claims and instead take a hard look at actual environmental footprints, management policies and initiatives.
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