Six new corporate partners have joined the Department of Energy’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, an initiative to reduce diesel and gasoline powered trucks in favor of electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles, according to the announcement by Department of Energy Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Coca Cola, GE, OSRAM Sylvania, Staples, Ryder, and Enterprise Holdings have also pledged to incorporate fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.
Through the National Clean Fleets Partnership, DOE provides the partners with specialized resources, technical expertise, and support, aiding companies’ efforts to achieve greater fleet efficiency and cost-savings. Members benefit specifically through opportunities for peer-to-peer information exchange, collaboration with DOE and national laboratories surrounding research and development initiatives, and assistance in pursuing group purchasing – so that smaller companies work with their larger peers to get the benefits of purchasing advanced vehicles in bulk.
Coca Cola already has one of the largest hybrid delivery fleets in North America. They also train drivers in “eco-driving” techniques. Enterprise Holdings, which owns four different car rental companies, is already adding Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs to the rental fleets. Ryder plans to convert from diesel to natural gas. Staples is testing electric delivery trucks in Ohio and California and teaching drivers about limiting idling and keeping speed under 60MPH to conserve gas. OSRAM Sylvania aims to replace 10-12% of their fleet with energy-efficient vehicles.
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.
In addition to these corporations, the partnership includes charter members AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, UPS, and Verizon. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program’s Clean Cities initiative.