In April of this year, Volvo Trucks North America announced Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited (Coke Canada Bottling) is acquiring six Volvo VNR Electric trucks, as part of a pilot program to service their iconic ‘Red Fleet’ customer delivery routes throughout the Greater Montreal Area. The six trucks are the first Class 8 battery-electric trucks in the beverage distributor’s fleet of 650 heavy-duty vehicles to service customers throughout the region. Coke Canada Bottling is the first Canadian food and beverage manufacturer to use zero-tailpipe emission trucks and all six Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be delivered throughout 2023.
As part of Coke Canada Bottling’s Toward a Better Future Together environmental sustainability action plan, the 6×4 Volvo VNR Electric trucks will contribute to the company’s goal of reducing carbon emissions from direct sources and supplied energy by 46.2% by 2030. Coke Canada Bottling is taking action on fuel efficiencies in their fleet through electrification and the usage of alternative fuel sources. It currently has several light-duty electric service vehicles in the Greater Montreal Area and uses B20 biofuels on all trucks newer than 2012. To date, these initiatives have led to a savings of more than 1500 tonnes of C02.
Volvo Trucks hosted a Demo Day on April 13 at Coke Canada Bottling’s Montreal distribution center for delivery drivers to test drive the new battery-electric trucks. Participants learned ways to optimize the Volvo VNR Electric’s range, such as leveraging regenerative braking benefits to add power back to the battery.
“Coke Canada Bottling is making tremendous strides towards their environmental sustainability goals by adding Volvo VNR Electric trucks to their fleet to service their beverage customers in the greater Montreal region,” said Peter Voorhoeve, President, Volvo Trucks North America. “It was an excellent opportunity to mark this clean fleet milestone during Earth Month with Coke Canada’s employees and is a tremendous honor to partner with them as they continue their electromobility transition.”
The battery-electric fleet features a six-battery configuration that can cover up to 440 km (275 miles) on a single charge, as the trucks make several daily round trips of 150 km (93 miles) from the company’s distribution center in Montreal to customer locations.
“Our ‘Red Fleet’ is iconic on the roads of our country and, as we strive to become the leading beverage partner in Canada, we’re extremely proud to partner with Volvo Trucks to be the first Canadian food and beverage manufacturer to use battery-electric trucks,” says Todd Parsons, Chief Executive Officer at Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited. “The electrification of our fleet is a key component of our plan to reduce direct carbon emissions. We know we continue to have work to do and look forward to working together with Volvo Trucks on opportunities to expand this pilot in years to come where it makes sense. We recognize we have a responsibility to effectively manage our environmental impact and we are working to decrease the emissions from our fleet.”
To support charging its battery-electric fleet, Coke Canada Bottling is also installing three 150 kW DC chargers with nine dispensers at its Montreal distribution center. The charging infrastructure is anticipated to be complete in June 2023.
Coke Canada Bottling utilized federal and provincial incentives (Écocamionnage and the iMHZEV programs) for Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles funding to offset the cost of the six Volvo VNR Electric trucks.