New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo.—possibly the greenest brewing company in the U.S. thanks to its 200-kilowatt (kW) solar array—now also owns an electric vehicle fleet of two Nissan Leafs and offers free electric vehicle (EV) charging to anyone who drives up between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (the brewery’s tasting hours and days), and checks in at the reception desk.
There are two Level 2 charging stations, both donated by Schneider Electric (a global specialist in energy management) and made possible thanks to an EV strategy group working through the city of Fort Collins utility department. Level 2 charging stations offer 240-volt AC charging.
The company said it switched to electric vehicles because only EVs have the potential to be zero-emissions. Gasoline (and diesel-powered) cars and trucks do not. In fact, not all EVs are emissions-free, especially where they are recharged from an electrical grid that relies on coal-fired power, as is often the case. As the company noted, plug-in vehicles are on average 33 percent more efficient than conventional combustion engines and perform as well as hybrid vehicles. New Belgium plans to use its Nissan Leaf EVs for local sales support.
In addition to the Nissan EVs, New Belgium Brewing plans to replace its entire local delivery fleet with hybrid vehicles beginning this year. That contract, through Kenworth Truck Company will see New Belgium delivering its Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner and other Belgian-inspired beers in trucks that turn New Belgium’s environmental profile such a bright green it hurts the eyes! Well, not literally, but you get the idea.