Why didn't they think of this sooner? A hybrid truck -- one that operates just like in a car. When the truck makes a delivery, the engine shuts off and the batteries kick in, thus eliminating 90% of the emissions that cause pollution and trigger asthma symptoms.
According to the NYU School of Medicine, at least 17% of school-aged children in the South Bronx suffer from asthma - a rate that is twice the national average -- and it is revealed that much of this is due to the number of diesel trucks in the area. The study indicates that there are higher concentrations of elemental carbon -- a component of diesel exhaust from trucks -- in the South Bronx than in Manhattan. Air pollution levels in this area exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. There is a strong link between Bronx zip codes with high asthma rates and those with a large concentration of industrial facilities - such as the Bronx Coca-Cola distribution center.
Kudos to Coca-Cola for being the first to use a hybrid truck delivery system in New York City, with 5 trucks added to the fleet and 120 trucks planned nationwide! The trucks use a battery when driving below 30 mph and while sitting at stop lights. And they use a motor/generator to get a 32% increase in fuel usage.
From what I understand, the green truck cost is 35-40% higher than a regular, diesel-spewing, engine-idling, air-pollution machine -- but demand is so strong that companies including UPS and FedEx are also making efforts to build their hybrid fleets in urban areas.
It is time for consumers to support these companies for their efforts to help the environment, even at a short-term cost to their bottom line!
Any company that uses sustainable business practices should win points from consumers -- we have begun to see a growth in the use of hybrids in taxi fleets, rental cars (Hertz) and limo services such as OzoCar which allows mass consumers to begin to realize that with minimal effort, we can take steps to change our impact on the environment. It is time that we support companies that make the effort!