Coke goes green with diesel-electric trucks

Shaun Weston4 Mar 2008 (Updated 1 Feb 2009)

The environmentally friendly diesel-electric Coke trucks, specially equipped by Eaton Corporation
The environmentally friendly diesel-electric Coke trucks, specially equipped by Eaton Corporation

Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world’s biggest Coke bottler, is cutting its carbon emissions and improving its fuel efficiency by buying 120 new trucks powered by an environmentally friendly diesel-electric system.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the world’s biggest Coke bottler, is cutting its carbon emissions and improving its fuel efficiency by buying 120 new trucks powered by an environmentally friendly diesel-electric system.

Specially equipped by the Eaton Corp of Kalamazoo, Michegan, the trucks will join CCE’s distribution fleet in the US. CCE has already been operating 20 trucks powered by Eaton’s hybrid power system since last year. The bottler’s new order for Eaton-powered trucks is the biggest yet from a North American customer.

Extensive testing and evaluation by CCE showed the Eaton hybrid power system reduced emissions roughly 32% and fuel consumption by up to 37%, compared with conventionally-powered trucks.

“We've been working with Coca-Cola Enterprises since 2003 to assess our systems,” said Dimitri Kazarinoff, General Manager for Emerging Technologies at Eaton’s Truck Group.

“Coca-Cola is demonstrating its commitment to reducing pollution and greenhouse gases, and Eaton is pleased to be a part of this effort. We're looking forward to working with them to deploy the systems into their transportation network.”

Dave Leasure, Corporate Director of Fleet Procurement for CCE, noted: “In addition to the environmentally friendly advantages that hybrid vehicles deliver, we're also happy to report that driver acceptance has been highly favourable, especially in high start-and-stop applications.

“The hybrid drive units have been performing very well in communicating with the electronic engines, always giving us the necessary torque and horsepower when it's needed.”

The Eaton diesel-electric power system features an UltraShift automatic transmission, and recovers energy normally lost during braking, which is stored in batteries.