Coca-Cola Canada Bottling To Become First Food & Beverage Manufacturer To Use Electric Trucks In Canada

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited (Coke Canada Bottling) will purchase six Volvo VNR Electric trucks as part of a pilot program to support its “Red Fleet” customer delivery routes in the Greater Montreal Region, Volvo Trucks North America said today. Among the beverage distributor’s fleet of 650 heavy-duty vehicles, the six trucks are the first Class 8 battery-electric trucks. They will be used to serve clients all across the area. The six Volvo VNR Electric trucks will be delivered to Coke Canada Bottling over the course of 2023.

The 6×4 Volvo VNR EV trucks will help Coca-Cola Canada Bottling reach its target of decreasing carbon emissions from supplied energy and direct sources by 46.2% by 2030 as part of the company’s Toward a Better Future Together environmental sustainability action plan. By electrification and the use of alternative fuel sources, Coke Canada Bottling is improving the fuel efficiency of its fleet. It presently operates a number of light-duty electric service vehicles around the Greater Montreal Area, and all trucks manufactured after 2012 run on B20 biofuel. Almost 1500 tonnes of carbon dioxide have already been saved because of these actions.

On April 13, Volvo Trucks held a Demo Day at the Montreal distribution center of Coke Canada Bottling so that delivery drivers could test-drive the new battery-electric trucks. Participants gained knowledge on how to maximize the Volvo VNR Electric’s range, including how to use the advantages of regenerative braking to replenish 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 company’s battery-electric fleet trucks have six batteries and can go up to 440 km (275 miles) on a single charge. The trucks perform numerous daily round trips of 150 km (93 miles) between the company’s distribution headquarters in Montreal and 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.”

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling is also putting in three 150 kW DC chargers with nine dispensers at its Montreal distribution hub to support charging its battery-electric fleet. In June 2023, the charging infrastructure is projected to be finished.

To cover the cost of the six Volvo VNR Electric trucks, Coke Canada Bottling used federal and provincial incentives (Écocamionnage and the iMHZEV programs) for Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles funding.

Six Class 8 battery-electric trucks out of 650 trucks doesn’t sound like much, but it is a pilot program and the company is working toward electrifying its fleet, so at least it is taking steps in the right direction.