Six additional corporate partners have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership, according to an announcement from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. The companies, Coca-Cola, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, Osram Sylvania, Ryder and Staples, collectively operate nearly a million vehicles in the U.S.
"The National Clean Fleets Partnership is an important part of the Department's strategy to help U.S. companies reduce their fuel use and save money," said Secretary Chu. "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."
Announced by President Obama in April, National Clean Fleets is a public-private partnership intended to help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.
While the companies may be new Clean Fleets partners, they are far from new to green fleet initiatives. Coca-Cola already has the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America. Enterprise Holdings-- which includes Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Car Rent A Car, National Car Rental and WeCar-- currently offers Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs to consumers for rental and expects to further expand that segment of 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.
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 says the company plans to replace 10-12% of their fleet annually with more energy-efficient vehicles.