Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Duke Energy have launched a joint research initiative to promote plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) technology. As part of this initiative, both companies will convert some of the hybrid vehicles in their transportation fleets to plug-in hybrids by using aftermarket kits.
Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Consolidated currently operates more than 400 hybrid vehicles—one of the nation’s largest corporate hybrid fleets—and plans to convert three Toyota Prius hybrids into PHEVs.
Through this collaboration, we hope to increase the awareness of plug-in hybrids, demonstrate the viability of the technology, and evaluate performance parameters. This is really just the start for what we hope will be the broader use of plug-in hybrids. Through this collaboration with Coca-Cola and other Duke Energy initiatives, there will be more than a dozen plug-in hybrids operating in the Charlotte region in early 2008. As more people begin to see the advantages of plug-in hybrids, we believe market demand will increase, which will encourage automakers to move forward with their plans to produce plug-in hybrids commercially.—Mike Rowand, director of advanced customer technology for Duke Energy
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, and supplies and delivers energy to approximately 4 million US customers. The company has approximately 36,000 MW of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky.