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Coca-Cola Bottling Co fires up hydrogen-powered warehouse
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC) has undertaken a programme to make its warehouse operations more environmentally friendly.
Beginning in June, the US' largest independent Coca-Cola bottler began using forklift trucks that run on green hydrogen in its Charlotte production centre. CCBCC claims it is the first in the beverage industry to use hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The fleet of 35 Crown and five Yale counterbalanced class one lift trucks are powered by hydrogen fuel cells from Plug Power and are being refueled at three indoor fueling stations with hydrogen from Linde North America.
CCBCC VP Lauren Steele said: "The hydrogen fuel cell technology follows major strides in environmental stewardship, including aggressive recycling programs, high-efficiency lighting and one of the best water usage ratios in the world at our Charlotte plant."
Bo Calloway, director of fleet operations at CCBCC, added: "Due to the high efficiency of the hydrogen fuel cells and the convenient location of the refueling stations in our plant, we expect to improve both our operating costs and our productivity."
The hydrogen technology requires only a three minute fuel time and allows for six to eight hours of use. Unlike the standard battery powered electric trucks, the fuel cell powered equipment will operate at 100 % power through the entire fill of hydrogen.
Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Consolidated is the US largest independent Coca-Cola bottler with franchise territories in 11 Southeastern states.
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