Coke, GE, Staples, others Upgrade Fleets With Hybrids, EVs

General Electric, Ryder and Staples are among six corporations that are joining the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Clean Fleets Partnership.

The program, announced by President Obama in April, is a public-private partnership that helps large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.

Coca-Cola, Enterprise, and Osram Sylvania also are joining the program, and together the six companies operate a total of nearly a million commercial vehicles nationwide.

Under the partnership, each company will work with DOE to develop a comprehensive fleet strategy, and DOE will also help connect partners with clean fuel providers and equipment manufacturers where their fleets operate.

The Clean Fleets program is a key piece of the Obama Administration’s plan to cut U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025. Other companies already participating in the Clean Fleets Partnership include: AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon.

"This initiative will support the nation’s largest commercial fleets as they move to adopt fuel-efficient vehicles that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve our energy security," says Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The new partners have already begun taking actions to develop and implement fuel-efficiency projects in their fleets, including:

  • Coca-Cola, which has the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America, has deployed hybrid delivery trucks and trained drivers in eco-driving techniques. The company also expects to deploy additional hydraulic hybrid vehicles this year.
  • Enterprise Holdings, which includes Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Car Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and WeCar, currently offers all-electric vehicles to consumers for rentals and expects to further expand its fleet.
  • General Electric has committed to convert half of their global vehicle fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015.
  • Ryder recently celebrated the opening of its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility, which will deploy hundreds of heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, include two LNG fueling stations and two additional maintenance facilities. This project is expected to save 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
  • Staples has increased the fuel economy of its fleet by more than 20% since 2007 through fuel-saving steps such as automatically limiting truck idling to no more than 3 minutes and limiting the top speed of its vehicles to 60 miles an hour. The company is also in the process of testing all-electric delivery trucks in Ohio and California.
  • Osram Sylvania aims to replace 10%-12%of their fleet annually with more energy-efficient vehicles. This year, they will replace more than one-fifth of their utility trucks with more efficient ones that reduce the need for idling.

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