Coca-Cola Enterprises, the largest bottler of Coke beverages, is more than doubling the size of its hybrid electric delivery fleet and will have 327 green trucks on the road in the U.S. and Canada.

The firm announced the expansion of its fleet today in a ceremony in Atlanta that included Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg and Coca-Cola Enterprises Chairman and CEO John F. Brock.

In praising the firm, Perdue said in a statement that Coca-Cola Enterprises' "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."

Meiburg presented Brock with an award on behalf of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative to recognize Coca-Cola Enterprises' efforts to make its fleet more environmentally friendly.

The new Coca-Cola Enterprises heavy duty hybrid electric semi.
Courtesy Coca-Cola Enterprises



With the announcement of its plan to add 185 hybrid electric trucks, the firm also said it is also launching a new vehicle that is larger than those in its existing fleet of heavy duty hybrids.

The majority of the 142 hybrid vehicles the company already has in hand are 12-bay box trucks with a 33,000 gross vehicle weight. With a gross combination vehicle weight of 55,000, the new hybrid electric tractors are comparable to standard bulk delivery trucks used by the company. But the jumbo hybrids use 30 percent less fuel and produce about 30 percent fewer emissions than standard tractors, the firm said.

The tractors were developed by the Eaton Corporation and Kenworth Truck Company, which worked with the bottling company on its earlier hybrid vehicles, and Cummins Engine Company.

Although the bottling firm declined to disclose specifics on the price tag for the fleet expansion, the firm told GreenBiz that a single new tractor costs about $98,000, roughly $33,000 more than the standard vehicle.

Coca-Cola began development of its green fleet in 2001. Its first order was for 20 hybrids with Eaton power systems in 2007. By the end of last year the firm had 142 vehicles, which were put to work in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, DC.

Under the expansion plan, large new hybrid tractors will roll out in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, DC. New 12-bay trucks are to be sent to Albuquerque, Columbus, Jacksonville, Las Vegas and Montreal.

The growth of the green fleet is the latest eco-friendly effort by bottling giant to make headlines. Last week, the firm was recognized for undertaking an overhaul of its lighting systems at 24 facilities in California in an energy efficiency drive that will cut electricity use by 5.6 million kilowatts-hours a year.