Coca-Cola and its bottlers are increasing the number of hybrid vehicles they use in their sales and delivery fleets. By the end of this year, Coke's sales fleet of 800 vehicles will contain 550 hybrids (as of now, it has 325), and by the end of next year the entire fleet should be hybridized. The Atlanta-based soft drink giant's green fleet includes the Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid along with the Ford Escape Hybrid. Similarly, both Coca-Cola Enterprises and Coca-Cola Consolidated, the company's #1 and #2 bottlers respectively, are following suit with plans to add more hybrid cars and SUVs through next year. Coca-Cola Enterprises also operates 120 diesel-electric hybrid trucks in its larger 20,000-vehicle delivery fleet. According to a representative quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, fuel prices are a huge concern for Coke, and the hybrids are less costly to operate. The biggest impact is likely to be made as Coke's bottlers leverage hybrid trucks for deliveries. Coca-Cola Enterprises' pilot fleet showed that the hybrid trucks' emissions and fuel consumption are a third lower than their traditionally-powered counterparts. With fuel prices on a steady climb, that kind of savings gets the attention of the decision-makers in the boardroom.
[Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

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