39 Used GM Vans Converted to Hybrid Operation for Coca-Cola,
As Busy XL Now Offers Upfits for Reach Vans by Isuzu-Utilimaster
Coca-Cola has completed the conversion of 39 GM Express vans to hybrid electric operation using XL3 systems from XL Hybrids, taking advantage of an executive order issued late last year by the California Air Resources Board, and bringing Coke’s total number of XL-fitted vans to 211.
Coke has also ordered 70 new GM vans with the XL3 hybrid system. The additional vans will be upfitted later this year.
Separately, XL announced its first upfit for a diesel vehicle, reporting today that the XL3 system is now available on the Reach commercial van from Isuzu and Utilimaster.
“XL Hybrids’ philosophy is to be nimble with our strategic direction and technology development,” XL Hybrids president and founder Tod Hynes said in a release. “Our customers are asking us to expand our platforms because they see immediate savings with a 25% increase in miles per gallon.
“In addition to 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, the technology has a quick adoption rate for fleets since there’s no need for special plugs, charging or fueling infrastructure,” Hynes said today.
The upfits are available for light duty vans for less than $10,000 per vehicle, says XL VP Clay Siegert.
Of the 39 retrofits for Coke, 28 are in California, “marking the largest commercial hybrid retrofit program ever in the state.” The installations were performed by ERG, the Emissions Retrofit Group, at locations in Oakland, Ontario, and Sacramento.
80,0o0 Miles to Payback
The vehicles date from as far back as 2012, says Tony Eiermann, North America fleet asset manager at Coca-Cola Refreshments. Coke logs about 20,000 miles per year on the vehicles in the light duty fleet, he says, and they are “peppered everywhere.”
“We put them in wherever we need replacement vans,” he told F&F. Coke has experienced no problems from adverse weather, Eiermann says.
“All our vans are GM,” he says.
“Coca-Cola reduces gallons of fuel used by approximately 20% with the XL3 hybrid electric drive system,” states a case study citing 1.5 million miles of experience. Payback can be achieved in about 80,000 miles.
Diverse Electric Drives
The XL3 vans join a Coca-Cola fleet that includes more than 700 heavy duty hybrid trucks, mostly Kenworths with about 100 Freightliners, all with Eaton drives. Coke also operates all-electric trucks including Smith Newton reefers vehicles and Navistar EcoStar vans, and about a dozen compressed natural gas trucks.
XL also said this month that it’s placed its XL3 hybrid drives on two passenger vans operated by Lasell College in Newton, Mass. and that a shuttle bus is to be added this month.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels interview, XL Hybrids announcement with F&F follow-up