DALLAS – AT&T announced plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years, bringing its alternative-fuel fleet to more than 15,000 vehicles by 2019. The company expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and approximately $215 million to begin replacing its passenger cars with alternative-fuel models.
AT&T will deploy nearly 800 of the CNG and hybrid electric vehicles this year. A Green Technology insignia will make the vehicles easy to identify on the road.
The new vehicles will save 49 million gallons of gasoline and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons over the 10-year deployment period - the equivalent to removing the emissions from more than 38,600 traditional passenger vehicles for a year, according to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Over the next five years, AT&T will replace about 8,000 gasoline-powered service vehicles with vehicles powered by domestically available CNG. CNG vehicles are expected to emit approximately 25 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than those traditionally powered by gasoline.
The vehicle chassis will be built domestically by a U.S. automotive manufacturer. AT&T will then work with domestic suppliers to convert the chassis to run on CNG. AT&T will also work with natural gas service providers to build up to 40 new CNG fueling stations across its operating region to provide the fueling infrastructure needed for the new vehicles. CAR estimates nearly 1,000 jobs will be created or saved each year for five years.
AT&T expects to replace 7,100 passenger cars over the next 10 years. The alternative-fuel vehicles, which will be used by employees in a variety of diverse work functions across AT&T's operations, are expected to offer up to a 39 percent improvement in fuel economy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 29 percent.
During the initial phase of the deployment, gasoline-powered passenger vehicles will be replaced with hybrid models. As technologies evolve, additional alternative-fuel vehicle types will be considered for inclusion.
The new CNG/passenger vehicle commitment follows AT&T's deployment of 105 alternative-fuel vehicles in more than 30 U.S. cities in June 2008. In addition, AT&T piloted four Ford Escape hybrids, which were deployed in late 2007 in California.