Electric Vehicles

AT&T Reaches Milestones in 10-Year Alt-Fuel Fleet Program

November 2011, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Greg Basich - Also by this author

AT&T has made an investment of &565 million in clean vehicles since 2009. These vehicles include both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles that fulfill a number of roles. The telecommunications giant has both electric vehicles (pictured) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles as part of its alternative-fuel fleet of 4,000 vehicles. The company operates a fleet of 71,500 vehicles in total.
AT&T has made an investment of &565 million in clean vehicles since 2009. These vehicles include both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles that fulfill a number of roles. The telecommunications giant has both electric vehicles (pictured) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles as part of its alternative-fuel fleet of 4,000 vehicles. The company operates a fleet of 71,500 vehicles in total.

At a Glance

In 2009, AT&T announced it was dedicating up to $565 million toward purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles for its fleet. Some of the company’s recent program highlights and future goals include:

● The saving of 49 million gallons of gasoline by 2018.

● Greenhouse-gas reduction equivalent to removing 38,600 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

● Have up to 8,000 CNG-fueled vehicles in its fleet, by the end of 2013


In 2009, AT&T made a commitment to fleet sustainability by announcing that it would commit up to $565 million over a 10-year period to purchase alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) for its fleet. AT&T reached several milestones on its way to its 15,000 alt-fuel vehicle goal this year, having purchased its 4,000th alternative-fuel vehicle (now totalling 4,661 units) and its 3,000th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle (now totalling 3,196 units). The company’s total fleet size is currently more than 71,500.

Early during this initiative, AT&T’s Chief Sustainability Officer Charlene Lake reached out to the Center for Automotive Research to discover the impact of its investment in AFVs. AT&T learned that its plan will save a total of 49-million gallons of gasoline over the course of the 10-year deployment period. In addition, the plan will reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons. The company said this is the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 38,600 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

The natural gas vehicles in the fleet are  Ford E-250 and E-350 vans, Honda Civic GXs, Ford F-250s, Ford F-450s with LEEP aerial technology, Ford Transit Connects, and Chevrolet Express Vans. The company said its recent deployments are the latest in its planned 10-year investment of up to $565 million to replace 15,000 fleet vehicles with AFVs by 2018.

AT&T said it estimates it will have up to 8,000 CNG-fueled vehicles in its fleet by 2013, at an estimated cost of $350 million. The company said it expects to invest an additional $215 million through 2018 to replace approximately 7,100 fleet passenger cars with AFVs.

To find out AT&T’s strategy for its fleet, and the benefits it has seen from this initiative, Green Fleet interviewed Jerome Webber, vice president of fleet.

“AT&T has a pretty large fleet of over 71,500 vehicles,” Webber said. “Our strategy of applying a more sustainable approach to our fleet came as part of an overall AT&T-wide initiative to embrace sustainability across all areas of the business.”

Webber said the $565-million investment is a shift in the company’s capital spend, rather than additional funds being dedicated to fleet. This shift will have a major impact on AT&T’s business, though, and help spur development and interest in AFVs.

“We truly believe that we’re driving the market for cleaner vehicle types,” Webber said. “As a large fleet, we believe that when we make commitments to invest up to $565 million in clean vehicles, the announcement we made back in 2009, it sends a strong signal that this is not a passing trend or a company that just wants to ‘green’ a couple of vehicles. We’re serious about this commitment.”

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