The new Pepsi challenge: Coke and Pepsi race toward sustainable delivery fleets

Coke and Pepsi are fighting for first again. Only this time, they are battling for the right reasons. A few days before Pepsi is set to receive its first Tesla electric semi trucks on December 1, Coca-Cola has exciting news of its own – the company has begun deliveries in its new electric truck fleet.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi implement heavy-duty electric trucks

After teasing Elon Musk and Tesla in early October, saying, “Some talk the talk. Some walk the walk,” on Twitter, Volvo-owned Renault Trucks announced Coca Cola has successfully implemented electric trucks for delivery.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) will be using 30 electric trucks for last-mile deliveries to local Belgium customers, with the first five rolling out last week. Through its partnership with Renault Trucks, CCEP looks to establish one of the largest EV delivery fleets in Belgium by converting one-fifth of its truck fleet to electric.

According to Renault Trucks, the beverage manufacturer will reduce its CO2 emissions by 75% when compared to diesel trucks.

VP and Country Director of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners for Belgium and Luxembourg, An Vermeulen, stresses the importance of having a long-term approach, saying:

Investing in electric trucks will allow Coca-Cola Europacific Partners to cut CO2 emissions by 30% across the entire value chain by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2040.

Coca-Cola will use electric delivery trucks to cover 200 km daily, or more than 40% of the beverage manufacturer’s delivery route. The EV trucks will charge overnight with on-site infrastructure powered by 100% clean energy.

The news comes just a week before Pepsi is scheduled to receive its first round of the long-awaited Tesla electric Semi on December 1. Renault poked fun at Tesla and CEO Elon Musk last month after delaying the electric truck several times since first unveiling it in 2017.

Renault Trucks Twitter

Nonetheless, Tesla has just confirmed its electric Semi has completed a remarkable 500-mile drive with a full load of 81,000 lbs.

To be fair, Coca-Cola’s new electric delivery trucks are not in the same category as Tesla’s Semi. The trucks are Renault E-Tech D and D Wide.

In comparison, Renault Trucks E-Tech D has a single electric motor with 250 maximum hp and 425 Nm maximum torque (up to 347-mile range), while the D Wide Electric has a dual motor for 500 maximum hp and 850 Nm of torque (up to 195-mile range).

Coca-Cola-electric-trucks
Renault Trucks E-Tech D and D Wide electric delivery trucks for Coca-Cola Source: Renault Trucks

Tesla’s semi is a class 8 truck equipped with three independent motors and up to a 500-mile range. Fully electric heavy-duty trucks from Tesla and Volvo (Renault) Trucks are set to revolutionize the transportation industry, which contributes the highest CO2 emissions and is most reliant on fossil fuels.

Electrek’s Take

Although not in the same delivery category, seeing Coca-Cola and Pepsi, two of the largest brands around us, implementing electric delivery trucks is a good sign of what’s to come in the transportation industry.

Perhaps, more important, seeing Renault Trucks and Tesla battle it out in a friendly competition is what the industry needs to move along quicker.

Tesla did it with passenger vehicles as most automakers are transitioning to a fully electric future. Can they do it again with heavy-duty delivery and transport vehicles? I wouldn’t bet against them. However, industry leaders like Volvo Trucks are already one step ahead.

Tesla aims to produce 100 electric semi-trucks in 2022 while ramping production to 50,000 units annually in 2024. Meanwhile, Volvo has been paving a path with the largest heavy-duty electric truck lineup and big ambitions to transform the industry. The heavy-duty EV race should be a good one to watch unfold.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising