Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling (RCCB) is one of the largest bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products in the West Coast and Midwest regions of the United States. The company operates 32 facilities and three bottling plants in eight states, serving over 105,000 customers and employing over 10,700 people. RCCB is also a leader in sustainability, striving to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. One way RCCB achieves this goal is by adopting electric trucks for its delivery fleet.
The Benefits of Electric Trucks for RCCB
Electric trucks are vehicles that run on batteries instead of fossil fuels. They offer several advantages over conventional diesel trucks, such as lower operating costs, maintenance costs, noise levels, performance, and emissions. Electric trucks can also help RCCB meet the increasing demand for its products while complying with its customers' and communities' environmental regulations and expectations.
According to Tim Heinen, vice president of strategic infrastructure and development at RCCB, the company is excited to roll out 20 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias to its Downey, California, facility. These are the first zero-emission heavy-duty tractors added to RCCB’s California fleet, and they will serve customers throughout Southern California. Heinen said that the electric trucks will not only save 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year but also build on the company’s commitment to making a positive difference in its communities.
The Freightliner eCascadia is a Class 8 electric truck that can travel up to 230 miles on a single charge, depending on the battery configuration. The truck has a power output of up to 730 horsepower and a torque of up to 1,050 pound-feet. The truck also features advanced safety and connectivity systems, such as collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and telematics.
The Challenges of Electric Truck Adoption for RCCB
While electric trucks offer many benefits, they also pose some challenges for RCCB and other fleet operators. One of the main challenges is the high upfront cost of electric trucks, which can be more than twice as expensive as diesel trucks. Another challenge is the availability and accessibility of charging infrastructure, which is still limited and unevenly distributed across the country. RCCB has installed 20 Detroit eFill commercial charging stations at its Downey facility, providing up to 150 kilowatts of power per truck. However, RCCB may need to rely on public charging stations or partner with other fleet operators to access charging options in other locations.
Another challenge is the impact of electric trucks on the electricity grid and the environment. Electric trucks require a large amount of electricity, which may strain the grid and increase the demand for generation capacity. Moreover, the electricity source may affect electric trucks' environmental benefits. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, such as solar or wind, the emissions savings will be higher than if the electricity comes from fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. RCCB is working with its utility providers and regulators to ensure that its electric trucks are powered by clean and reliable electricity.