While huge corporations like Coca-Cola have invested heavily into alternative fuel and electric vehicles, the success or failure of these initiatives always comes down to costs. XL Hybrids offers a cheap and effective method of converting popular full-size delivery vans into fuel-sipping hybrids, and Coca-Cola is adding 140 of these converted vans to its repair fleet.
The beverage behemoth is converting all of its recently-purchased 2014 Chevy Express 3500 vans into hybrids using the patented XL Hybrid drive system. This conversion doesn’t ever require the vans to be plugged in but can improve the fuel economy by 15 to 20% per vehicle, allowing the $8,000 per-vehicle system to be paid off within just three years. That’s because XL Hybrids uses a simple system wherein the small electric motor attaches to the driveshaft, spinning at the same speed as the engine to help reduce strain on the engine, especially at lower speeds where the most fuel is consumed. Over the estimated 10-year lifetime of each converted vehicle, Coca-Cola says it will reduce its carbon output by some 4,000 tons of CO2 thanks to these converted hybrid vans.
Going green to look good is nice and all, but to really get businesses on board with fuel efficient or alternative fuels, cash money is the only thing that really matters. XL Hybrids must be doing something right, because just about every other green commercial vehicle company has gone bust, including Bright Automotive and Smith Electric vehicles; Navistar even had a small deal with Coca-Cola to provide EVs, but ultimately the electric delivery van didn’t perform up to expectations.
With XL Hybrids though, Coca-Cola is already getting a proven product (the Chevy Express 3500) with a hybrid system that pays for itself in very little time. It’s just one of Coca-Cola’s car-related efforts to get closer to its goal of reducing its “drink-in-hand” carbon footprint by 25%.
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution.