The CNG fleet of Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG comprises 160 vehicles. Sustainability Manager Patrick Wittweiler draws a very positive conclusion after a year – and is already thinking of an even more climate-friendly future.
Here’s an interview with Mr Patrick Wittweiler, conducted by cng-mobility.ch.
Mr. Wittweiler, a large number of the employees at Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG have been driving CNG vehicles for a year. What is your conclusion?
Patrick Wittweiler, Country QSE & Sustainability Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG):
Our employees experience no restrictions whatsoever with the CNG cars. The coverage with filling stations for CNG and biogas in Switzerland is very good. The equipment of the vehicles and the range of up to 450 kilometres with CNG also meet our needs. Employees have their preferred three to four petrol stations near where they live or in the area in which they work. The petrol tank with a capacity of nine litres is sufficient for another 150 kilometres and can be used in an emergency. Thus, the drivers are always on the safe side.
Some of your employees were skeptical when you took over the vehicles a year ago. How has acceptance of the vehicles developed since then?
The acceptance is very high. All initial uncertainties – for example in connection with refueling the vehicles – quickly subsided and turned for the better: the drivers quickly got used to going to CNG filling stations. Thanks to the navigation system, which shows all CNG filling stations in the immediate vicinity of a route, filling stations can be found easily.
Furthermore, both the range and the quick refuelling – it doesn’t take much longer than with a diesel – contributed to the widespread acceptance. In addition, our employees are repeatedly asked about the CNG car by passers-by at the petrol station. Of course, that makes you proud!
How many kilometers did the CNG fleet drive this year?
Since the introduction of around 160 vehicles in stages, the fleet has already covered 3.8 million kilometers – this corresponds to about five trips to the moon and back. Without Covid-19 it would have been even more. In one year, the entire Coca-Cola Switzerland fleet drives around 7 million kilometers.
A total of 140 tons of CNG and biogas were refueled.
How much CO 2 was saved – compared to the previous year?
The savings are between 20 and 25 percent compared to the last fleet, which consisted largely of diesel vehicles. This depends on the gas mix that is refueled and the kilometers driven in and out of the city. We currently emit 89 grams of CO 2 per kilometer. In comparison, a conventional diesel car emits an average of 125 grams.
(Note: this refers to TTW emissions. The role of the used biomethane in the cars is not counted in this number. Find out what the difference is here.)
Are there employees who only drive CNG or do they still often use petrol?
The Skoda Octavia, built in 2019, has three gas bottles of six kilograms each on board, which is sufficient for the aforementioned range of up to 450 kilometers, as well as a small reserve tank with 9 liters of petrol for 150 kilometers.
The tank sizes don’t make it attractive to drive around with just gasoline. Therefore, gasoline is really only used in an emergency or for bridging. We liked this so much when selecting this model.
What about the proportion of biogas? Are there any plans to increase this percentage? Or are there employees who voluntarily refuel with biogas?
There are petrol stations that only offer biogas . Employees use this opportunity whenever possible, even if biogas is a little more expensive than CNG.
Overall, we are looking into switching to 100 percent biogas.
Will Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland continue to use CNG in the future – or is electric an option? You drive a Tesla yourself.
In our “Green Fleet Project”, electric cars were also evaluated and considered. Suitable models for a typical sales representative are not really available yet. The current CNG fleet is therefore the ideal solution for our needs at the moment. In 2024, we will again examine our fleet in detail and again consider those models that best meet our needs.
In addition to passenger cars, Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland also has commercial vehicles in its fleet. Are there any plans to convert the trucks to CNG as well?
Here, too, we are examining various options. The first discussions with manufacturers are under way.
This article is a courtesy of cng-mobility.ch. Visit their website to find out more.
Find our more about biomethane and how emissions in cars are calculated: