Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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Page 41 of 73

AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 38 A s the owner of the largest heavy- duty hybrid-electric delivery f eet in North America, T e Coca-Cola Company knows more than most about reducing its overall corporate carbon footprint. T e beverage company has dived into the alternative-fuel movement with both feet when it comes to its commercial f eet and have begun to look into upgrades for its service vehicles. Recently, Coca-Cola partnered with XL Hybrids to upf t 100 Chevrolet Express service vans with the XL3 parallel hybrid- electric drive system. According to XL Hy- brids' vice president of sales, Jay Sandler, the new system will increase the miles the beverage company is able to drive per gal- lon by 20 to 25 percent in suburban and ur- ban driving environments. "T is results in a signif cant reduction to the cost per mile to operate the vehicle, and results in a favorable return in investment — of en in less than three years," Sandler add- ed. "T e company operating a vehicle with XL Hybrids' system will also reduce its im- pact on the environment by reducing car- bon emissions by approximately 20 percent." Investing in a Greener Tomorrow Coca-Cola's investment in hybrid technol- ogy supports the company's goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020, according to Tony Eiermann, manager, as- set and value management for Coca-Cola North America. "T is technology of ered an option that provided low maintenance and fuel sav- ings. It was also able to work with our exist- ing f eet structure," Eiermann said. He add- ed that the company plans on continuing to deploy hybrid, electric, and natural gas trucks in its f eet. Currently, the company operates more than 800 alternative-fuel delivery vehicles including hybrid-electric, all-electric, liq- uef ed natural gas (LNG), and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Coca-Cola be- gan building a hybrid f eet in 2001, and sees not only the environmental, but the f scal benef ts as well. "T ere are fuel savings and potential main- tenance savings. T e powertrain unit pays for itself three times over its life span due to these savings," Eiermann said. Deciding on Hybrid Founded in 2009, XL Hybrids continues to recognize hybrid vehicle technology's place in the alt-fuel landscape. Unlike other fuels, such as propane autogas and CNG, hybrid vehicles are not prey to a limited refueling infrastructure. "T ere are only about 1,000 public CNG stations operating in the U.S. and proba- bly a smaller number of public propane au- togas stations. T e number of stations are also geographically limited, with limited hours of operation. T is can of en result in range anxiety when a vehicle is operat- ed where access to fuel might be question- able," Sandler said. XL Hybrids works closely with its cus- tomers to ensure the vehicles are operating properly and ef ciently. Every installed sys- tem includes an onboard telematics system that communicates with XL Hybrids' servers at its Boston headquarters every time the key is turned. T is gives the company f rst-hand knowledge on any technical dif culties, even before the customer is aware in some cases. "We work with them to quickly rectify any problems," Sandler added. "We also can track the drive prof le of the route that the vehicle is being used on and can work with the customer to help optimize vehicle oper- ation on routes where the hybrid system will provide the best value and highest return on their investment." In addition to the hybrid service vans, Coca-Cola recently announced the roll out of 16 f rst-of-its-kind refrigerated plug-in electric vehicles, continuing its dedication to alternative transportation. AF POWERS ITS RED VANS WITH A LIT TLE GREEN The beverage company recently converted 100 service vehicles to run on XL Hybrids' XL3 parallel hybrid electric drive system to cut costs and reduce emissions. BY STEPHANE BABCOCK COCA-COLA An XL Hybrids technician readies one of the 100 Chev- rolet Express service vans to run on the XL3 parallel hybrid electric drive system. PHOTO: XL HYBRIDS A F 0 3 1 4 c o k e . i n d d 3 8 AF0314coke.indd 38 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 9 : 2 2 A M 1/24/14 9:22 AM

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