The findings are the first to emerge from an industry-wide initiative in which the three beverage giants agreed to share proprietary data on their truck fleets with the ABA. The ABA aggregates the information to determine how well the industry is doing on fuel consumption and fuel efficiency.
The data shows that the beverage industry has the largest fleet of fuel-efficient heavy-duty hybrid commercial vehicles in North America, and has increased fuel economy (miles per gallon) industry-wide by 3 percent per year since at least 2010. This represents a 12.6 percent increase in fuel efficiency projected through the end of this year.
The collaboration will better allow the industry to determine the effectiveness of advances in alternative fuels, fuel conservation, hybrid technology and eco-driving techniques, the ABA says. Among the progress to date:
- Alternative fuels and advanced technologies (hybrid, all-electric, propane, compressed natural gas, and liquefied natural gas) currently power more than 1,700 industry vehicles.
- More than 250 service vehicles have been converted to hybrid power train systems that are 20 percent more fuel efficient.
- Zero-emission, all-electric refrigerated trucks and 150 all-electric vehicles have been added to the fleets.
- Expansion of proven fuel-saving measures such as tire pressure monitoring systems, lighter composite materials, telematics, auto-shift transmissions, improved body aerodynamics, short-route guidance systems.
Among the initiatives that individual companies are involved in advancing:
- Partnering with XL Hybrids to grow the number of industry light-duty service vans fitted with the firm’s hybrid engine conversion technology.
- Engaging with the National Clean Fleets Partnership Program, public/private initiative between the US Department of Energy and large companies to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient and alternative fuels nationwide.
- Participating in the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a public/private collaboration between the EPA and the freight transportation industry that helps shippers, carriers and logistics companies improve fuel efficiency and save on fuel costs.
- Collaborating with Business for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit group focusing on environmentally sustainable business practices, to develop a software tool that will allow beverage industry fleet managers to identify lower-carbon fuels.