February 29, 2008 Coca-Cola Enterprises will purchase 120 Eaton diesel-electric hybrid trucks this year – the largest single order placed to the Cleveland-based firm. CCE bought 20 trucks last year, when the program was in a test phase, and found they reduced emissions by 32%, and reduced fuel consumption by 37%. The Eaton Hybrid trucks use both a diesel engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. According to the Eaton website, this configuration can slash emissions by up to 70%, and reduce fuel consumption by up to 60%.

The stop-and-go traveling style of trucks is particularly suited to the hybrid system, as it allows the electric battery to frequently harness energy from braking. The electric motor also assists the truck’s acceleration, making a smoother and quieter journey for drivers. Overall, the system can reduce idle time by up to 87%.

"In addition to the environmentally friendly advantages that hybrid vehicles deliver, we are also happy to report that driver acceptance has been highly favorable, especially in high start-and-stop applications," said Dave Leasure, CCE corporate director of fleet procurement. "The hybrid drive units have been performing very well in communicating with the electronic engines, always giving us the necessary torque and horsepower when it is needed.”