Aramark Delivers With Hybrid EVs

Work uniforms are among the vast array of professional services Aramark provides. It’s an energy intensive business, and not just in cleaning garments, as well as the mats, towels, linen and other items the company deals with. Picking up and dropping off the goods is a big job, as well, and that’s where Aramark – with help from the government – is making newsworthy clean-energy inroads.

According to the company, it has become the first commercial uniform provider to introduce hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) into its national fleet. The company said it’s now in the process of rolling out 25 hybrid stepvans. By spring 2011, it expects to have 78 HEVs plying service routes in 28 states.

Uniform delivery service, hybrid electric vehicles, Aramark

image via Aramark

These are diesel-burning HEVs that run on electricity when traveling under 30 mph – making them perfect for slower-going urban routes. In the stop-and-go traffic of cities, hybrids can take advantage of regenerative braking system that turns stopping power into battery charging, the company noted.

Aramark is a huge company, with revenues over $12 billion, but it said the small move toward HEVs was “made possible by a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Maryland Clean Cities Program.” That government is helping companies with large vehicle fleets go electric isn’t surprising; as we told you several months ago, the federal government itself is slowly replacing its own gas-guzzlers with hybrids. And we reported on Frito-Lay taking advantage of grant programs to boost the number of electric vehicles in its delivery fleet.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.