Photo via XL Hybrids.

Photo via XL Hybrids.

Coca-Cola plans to roll out 100 gasoline-electric hybrid Chevrolet Express vans into its delivery fleet by the end of the year following their conversion with an XL Hybrids powertrain.

The 2014 Express vans have been equipped with hybrid powertrains that reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% when compared with the company's gasoline-only Express 3500 full-size vans, said Justin Ashton, co-founder of XL Hybrids.

When used for 10 years, the hybrid powertrain would pay for itself three times with the savings generated from less fuel consumption, fewer brake replacements, and the lower initial cost of a 4.8L V-8 engine instead of a 6.0L V-8 engine. When paired with an electric motor, the 4.8L engine generates 80% more torque than a gasoline-only 6.0L V-8, Ashton said.

"If you want to reduce fuel costs, you need to start looking at an option in the market that can offer this type of payback without government incentives," Ashton said. "If you look at the competitive options, our type of technology needs no infrastructure. Fleets are looking for a solution that offers a fast payback without the complexity and cost of new fueling or charging infrastructure."

Over their lifespan, the hybrid Express vans will eliminate about 4,000 tons of carbon emissions compared to what a conventional van would produce over a 10-year span.

XL Hybrids can also convert Ford E-Series vans to a hybrid vehicle.

Coca-Cola has also rolled out 16 refrigerated plug-in electric vehicles that deliver the company's Odwalla beverages in the San Francisco Bay area. The beverage corporation also operates the largest heavy-duty electric hybrid delivery fleet in North America.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet