Six Join DOE Clean Fleets Partnership

Combined, they operate nearly 1 million commercial vehicles nationwide, according to the agency.

Six more companies have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced July 5. They are Coca-Cola, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Ryder, and Staples, which combined operate nearly 1 million commercial vehicles nationwide. The partnership is a public-private effort to help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures.

"The National Clean Fleets Partnership is an important part of the department's strategy to help U.S. companies reduce their fuel use and save money," said Chu. "This initiative will support the nation's largest commercial fleets as they move to adopt fuel-efficient vehicles that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve our energy security."

Member companies already participating in the partnership include charter members AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, UPS, and Verizon. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program's Clean Cities initiative.

Each company works with DOE to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce petroleum and diesel use in their fleets. According to DOE, the six newcombers are already moving in this direction:

  • Coca-Cola, which has the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America, has deployed hybrid delivery trucks and trained drivers in eco-driving techniques and expects to deploy additional hydraulic hybrid vehicles this year.
  • Enterprise Holdings (it includes Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Car Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and WeCar) offers Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs to consumers for rentals and expects to expand its fleet.
  • General Electric has committed to convert half of its global fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015.
  • Ryder recently opened its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility and will deploy hundreds of heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, saving 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
  • Staples has increased its fleet's fuel economy more than 20 percent since 2007 through steps such as automatically limiting truck idling to no more than three minutes and restricting the top speed of its vehicles to 60 mph. It is testing all-electric delivery trucks in Ohio and California.
  • OSRAM SYLVANIA plans to replace 10-12 percent of its fleet annually with more energy-efficient vehicles.

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