Coke going electric in Belgium

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has begn using 30 electric trucks to make last mile deliveries to local customers in Belgium.

The first five vehicles started fulfilling orders on November 24, 2022  in the Antwerp area.

The beverage manufacturer is electrifying 20 percent of its truck fleet with Renault EVs, and creating the largest fleet of electric trucks in Belgium. The company will also reduce its CO2 emissions by 75 percent compared to diesel trucks.

“Our industry is facing difficulties that require rapid adaptation, but we are also firmly committed to maintaining a long-term approach. Investing in electric trucks will allow Coca-Cola Europacific Partners to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent across the entire value chain by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2040,” said An Vermeulen, vice-president and country director of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners for Belgium and Luxembourg.

The first five Renault Trucks are the E-tech D and D Wide models. Additional trucks will arrive in the coming months at the manufacturing and distribution sites in Ghent and Chaudfontaine in Belgium.

Coca-Cola chose a configuration allowing Renault Truck’s electric vehicles to cover 200 km daily, which is more than enough for 40 perent of CCEP’s current local delivery routes. Each truck has an on-site charging station to fully recharge the battery overnight. These charging stations are powered by green energy generated at the site.

“Most of our deliveries are very local, to supermarkets and businesses near our sites, with routes averaging 150 km per day,”  Vermeulen said. “The transition to electric vehicles makes perfect sense, thanks to a total investment of around 7 million euros. This is one example of our efforts to take a long-term and sustainable approach at the local level in Belgium.”

Coca-Cola worked closely with Renault Trucks to select the right trucks and create the best loading conditions for this local use. “We carefully analyzed Coca-Cola’s logistics data, produced realistic route simulations, and carried out tests under real conditions that looked at energy consumption as well as driver comfort and safety,” said Siegfried Van Brabandt, managing director of Renault Trucks Belux.

“The trucks are also equipped with 360° camera systems to eliminate blind spots, a loudspeaker to warn pedestrians and cyclists, and a clear door for optimal visibility on the passenger side.”

The 30 electric trucks being rolled out this year are  a first step for CCEP. “We will keep taking steps to decarbonize our fleet until 2030 while continuing to study market developments to determine the future of our fleets by considering parameters such as covering longer distances, vehicle autonomy, and heavier loads,” Vermeulen said.

CCEP also wants to keep looking to the future in collaboration with Renault Trucks. “To help our customers decarbonize their fleets, we developed a customized solution that covers both vehicles and services. We also offer support to ensure proper use of the electric trucks. And we are continuing to expand our range of electric vehicles: next year we will produce an electric 44t truck that goes much farther on a single charge,” Van Brabandt said.

“Additionally, as part of the Volvo Group, we are investing in the expansion of public charging infrastructure in Europe through strategic partnerships. This is going to be a really exciting decade for our industry, and we are pleased to be making significant progress in this area with partners like Coca-Cola.”