|Larger delivery vans will transfer Coca-Cola shipments into 30 ZAP Xebra trucks for delivery into congested areas in Montivideo. Click to enlarge.|
The Coca-Cola Company and ZAP announced a project to use 30 ZAP Xebra compact all-electric trucks to test a new urban distribution system in Montevideo, Uruguay. Officials from Coca-Cola subsidiary Montevideo Refrescos SRL (Monresa) and ZAP say that they are also testing new efficient motors as part of the project.
Monresa has received the initial order for 30 ZAP Xebras and is now placing them into service delivering beverages throughout Montevideo. The ZAP Xebras will be incorporated into a mobile distribution hub model in which larger delivery trucks will no longer be used throughout the city, but will transfer beverages into ZAP trucks at distribution hubs.
Modified with enclosed, lockable beds, the ZAP Xebras will navigate the narrower inner-city streets to make deliveries to smaller retail locations. Because the ZAP trucks will operate more easily in this environment, officials from Coca-Cola say their drivers can deliver vehicles and collect payment at the same time, whereas collections were not practical with the larger trucks.
If successful, Coca-Cola may expand their use to large cities around the world where rising gas prices, traffic congestion, pollution and parking shortages restrict the use of large delivery trucks. Officials say that the new distribution model using these trucks averages about one-fifth the fuel consumption of the former model.
Coca-Cola’s distribution model is similar to the one used recently by United Parcel Service (UPS) in Northern California in which a fleet of 42 ZAP trucks and sedans were used to expand small parcel deliveries during peak holiday demand. UPS delivery vans transferred smaller packages to a locked storage unit, then a Xebra transports the packages into dense urban and residential areas where parking and traffic are easier for the smaller vehicles.
ZAP is expanding the distribution for the Xebra worldwide as part of a strategic partnership with Shandong Jindalu vehicle company of China. ZAP is now distributing the cars and trucks designed for city-speed transportation. ZAP recently formed a joint venture with one of China’s newest car companies, Youngman Automotive Group, to manufacture electric and hybrid cars, buses and trucks. (Earlier post.)