AT&T Invests $565M in Alternative Fuel Vehicles
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - One of the top U.S. cell phone carriers is amping up its purchases of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). AT&T is halfway to its goal of deploying 15,000 AFVs over a 10 year period ending in 2018. Since the company began investing in AFVs, it has purchased 7,500 in 44 states. Part of the goal is to invest in 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles by 2014. The fleet already consists of 5,474 CNG vehicles. There are 1,996 hybrid electric vehicles, 27 extended range electric and three all-electric vehicles (EVs). The three deployed all EVs are a Smith Newton cargo truck in St. Louis, Missouri, and two Ford Transit Connected Electric vans in Dallas and Los Angeles. The 26 extended range EVs deployed in 10 states are Chevrolet Volts. All the CNG vehicles are manufactured by U.S. automakers.
Reaching the halfway mark toward its AFV deployment goal is a big deal for AT&T. As Jerome Webber, vice president, AT&T Global Fleet Operations, said in a statement, “This is more than just an arbitrary number. These 7,500 vehicles represent reduced emissions, improved fuel efficiency and reduced operational costs. They illustrate our company-wide commitment to sustainability in the communities where we live, work, and play.”
AT&T putting its proverbial money where its mouth is by making such a large investment in AFVs. In 2009, AT&T committed to investing up to $565 million to deploy about 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) over a 10 year period through 2018. AT&T expects to spend about $215 million to replace over 7,000 passenger cars with alternative-fuel models through 2018 and expects to spend about $315 million to purchase 8,000 CNG vehicles through 2014. The commitment to purchasing AFVs is good for the economy, as it will either create or save approximately 1,000 jobs a year over the first five years of the commitment, and avoid purchasing 49 million gallons of gasoline over the 10-year commitment, according to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) estimates.
Transportation accounted for 27 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2011, and for more than half of the net increase in total U.S. GHG emissions from 1990 to 2011. AT&T’s use of CNG vehicles alone will help reduce its GHG emissions. CNG vehicles emit about 25 percent fewer emissions than vehicles powered by gasoline, and have a 39 percent improvement in fuel economy. All the CNG vehicles purchased by AT&T will be used to provide communications and entertainment services for customers. Last year, AT&T opened its first private CNG refueling station in the LA area which serves over 100 of its service and passenger vehicles.
In addition to AT&T’s commitment to AFVs, the company works with its employees on better driving to more efficiently manage its fleet. The telecom giant encourages its drivers to avoid both hard braking and fast acceleration, and has developed an idling reduction policy.