General Electric, lighting company Osram Sylvania and logistics provider Ryder round out the six newest members in the partnership, which seeks to help large fleets across the country cut petroleum use by 2.5 billion gallons by 2020.
Introduced in April, and run by the Department of Energy, the partnership also includes charter members AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, UPS, and Verizon.
Under the program, each company will work with the DOE to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce petroleum and diesel use in their fleets. DOE will also help connect partners with clean fuel providers and equipment manufacturers where their fleets operate.
The department said members will benefit from opportunities for peer-to-peer information exchange, collaboration with DOE and national laboratories on research and development initiatives, and assistance in pursuing group purchasing. The program also offers technical tools including cost calculators, interactive maps, customizable database searches, and mobile applications.
Each of the new partners has already taken steps to incorporate fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles into their fleets:
- Coca-Cola lays claim to the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America.
- Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental, offers Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs to consumers for rentals.
- General Electric has committed to convert half of its global vehicle fleet to alternative fuels and to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015.
- Ryder recently opened its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility, including two liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, to support hundreds of heavy-duty LNG trucks.
- Staples says it has increased the fuel economy of its fleet by more than 20 percent since 2007 through fuel-saving steps such as automatically limiting truck idling to no more than 3 minutes and limiting the top speed of its vehicles to 60 miles an hour. The company is also in the process of testing all-electric delivery trucks in Ohio and California.
- Osram Sylvania aims to replace 10-12 percent of its fleet annually with more energy-efficient vehicles. This year, the company will replace more than one-fifth of its utility trucks with more efficient ones that reduce the need for idling.