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Coca-Cola deploying biomethane vehicles

July 29, 2011
A fleet of 14 biomethane vehicles will soon be roaming the streets around London, delivering the beverage of choice for so many – Coca-Cola

A fleet of 14 biomethane vehicles will soon be roaming the streets around London, delivering the beverage of choice for so many – Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Enterpises Ltd. (CCE) has announced it will purchase 14 Iveco Stralis compressed biomethane (CBM) delivery trucks, to be based at the company’s facility in Enfield, England, just outside London.

“Reducing the carbon used by our own vehicle fleet and by our third-party hauliers is a key objective for CCE ‑ we put about 200,000 loads per year onto the roads of [Great Britain] and so we believe we can make a real difference,” said Wendy Manning, CCE customer logistics director. “All of our hopes on the environmental benefits of biomethane were easily achieved during the trial. We hope our leadership in this area and our decision to invest in a fleet of biomethane trucks inspires others to follow.”

CCE will spend £1.75m (approximately $2.8 million) in the 21-ton Stralis Active Day vehicles and related infrastructure. The purchase follows a successful test period which began last summer for CCE.

“Our primary reason for selecting CBM is that it has the lowest carbon intensity of all commercially available alternative fuels, allowing us to benefit from the best possible well-to-wheel saving,” said Darren O’Donnell, logistics asset manager last summer. “The gas used to make the CBM comes from a landfill site in Surrey, which means it is not depleting any fossil resources. This effectively allows us to power the Stralis using the latent energy recovered from rubbish thrown away by society.”

According to CCE, biomethane is less carbon-intense than diesel and the company expects a carbon savings of more than 50% per vehicle compared to a diesel-powered equivalent.

CCE worked with CENEX, the Hardstaff Group and Loughborough University on the trial, with most of the testing completed at Millbrook Proving Ground. A special refueling station will be built in Enfield.

The trucks will move CCE a step closer to its sustainability goals.

“Corporate responsibility and sustainability are not optional extras,” said Simon Baldry, managing director in Great Britain. “They are at the very heart of our business and our approach ‑ central to everything we do and how we operate. Sustainable growth is about making more with less."

The Stralis is a purpose-built truck for natural gas applications. The CBM system is supplied by Gasrec and features a 6-cyl., 7.8L Curso 8 engine producing 300 hp. at 2,000 rpm. It has an Allison Transmission 3500 6-spd. automated gearbox.

“There are very few gas-powered heavy trucks on the market, but the availability of a Stralis proved the perfect fit with our business as we already run 50 diesel-powered models, and have been a prominent Stralis customer since 2004,” said O’Donnell.

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