Coca-Cola Officially Unveils its Fuel Cell Forklift Fleet

10 Feb 2012

Coca-Cola Officially Unveils its Fuel Cell Forklift Fleet

Coca-Cola® will unveil its fleet of 37 fuel cell forklifts and 19 fuel cell pallet jacks at its San Leandro bottling plant at a ‘green ribbon-cutting’ ceremony today.

The company’s goal is to grow its business while keeping its carbon emissions at the 2004 baseline. It is working to use more fuel-efficient equipment to bring down fleet emissions: the hydrogen-powered forklifts and pallet jacks will provide more sustainable power when moving product at the 500,000 sq. ft. San Leandro facility.

Plug Power has supplied the GenDrive fuel cells, which are designed as drop-in replacements for the lead–acid batteries used in electric lift trucks. They can be refuelled in minutes with hydrogen (supplied at the site by Air Liquide), providing much faster turnaround with a lower infrastructure requirement than battery charging.

With this conversion, Coca-Cola is able to eliminate its battery room and open up the valuable floor space for storing and moving product. It says the technology increases productivity by 15% on average and lowers operational costs by up to 30%.

“We are dedicated to expanding our AFV [alternative fuel vehicle] fleet and continue to look for innovative ways to move and deliver Coca-Cola products throughout California,” said Rene Hom, Coca-Cola Northwest Region Vice President of Field Operations and Supply Chain. “The addition of hydrogen-powered fork lifts and pallet jacks to our current 125-AFV fleet in California further strengthens our on-going commitment to energy conservation, recycling and zero waste, while driving down operating costs and improving process efficiencies.”

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