WASHINGTON Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced March 5 that four new corporate partners — Best Buy, Johnson Controls, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Veolia — are joining the Energy Department's National Clean Fleets Partnership, a broad public-private partnership that assists the nation's largest fleet operators in reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel they use nationwide.

These four new partners join 14 other major national companies in committing to improve the fuel economy of the commercial fleets, integrate alternative technology vehicles such as natural gas trucks and electric vehicles into their fleets, and reduce their overall fuel use. Collectively, the National Clean Fleets Partners operate more than a million commercial vehicles nationwide, accounting for more than 12 percent of all commercial vehicles on American roads.

Secretary Chu announced the new partners at Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., during which he discussed the Obama Administration's investments in fuel-efficient technologies for commercial vehicles and truck fleets. "As part of the President's all-of-the-above approach to reducing fuel costs for American consumers and businesses, the National Clean Fleets Partnership helps leading U.S. companies reduce their fuel use, save money, and become models for fleets across the nation to improve their efficiency," said Secretary Steven Chu. "By adopting alternative fuels, advanced vehicles and by making their operations smarter and more fuel-efficient, these national partners are increasing their competitiveness and helping to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil."

Under the partnership, Energy Department experts provide each company with specialized resources, technical expertise, and support in developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost-savings. The Department also helps connect partners with clean fuel providers and equipment manufacturers where their fleets operate.

The new partners announced have already begun taking action to develop and implement fuel-efficiency projects in their fleets, including:

Best Buy. With more than 20,000 Geek Squad agents, Best Buy closely manages its fleet of approximately 5,000 vehicles. Since 2009, Best Buy has reduced its carbon emissions from fuel use by 21 percent. The reduction was achieved through decreased engine sizes, deployment of the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicles for the job, and elimination of underutilized assets. Best Buy is testing both electric and propane vehicles and has piloted telematics technology to help further reduce fuel use. Best Buy joined the partnership in March 2012.

Johnson Controls, Inc. Johnson Controls has committed to design and deliver increasingly sustainable products, services and solutions that will help its customers improve their energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, and achieve its environmental goals. The company has implemented several greenhouse gas reduction strategies in its global fleet of 19,000 vehicles worldwide. Beginning in 2009, the U.S. fleet introduced hybrid vehicles. The fleet today runs more than 500 hybrid vehicles, which each reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent. In 2011, it deployed 20 all-electric vans, which are estimated to achieve a 61 percent GHG reduction per vehicle. Other strategies include the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) vans, and higher mileage vans and trucks. In 2012, Johnson Controls will pilot the use of telematics and continue with the deployment of additional alternative fuel vehicles, including propane-fueled units.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company. With more than 3,100 on-road alternative fuel and high efficiency vehicles, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) operates one of the greenest utility fleets in the nation. Since 1995, PG&E's alternative-fuel fleet has displaced nearly 7 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel and helped prevent more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. In 2007, PG&E was the first utility to demonstrate the ability of electric vehicles to supply homes and businesses with power. PG&E joined the partnership in March 2012.

Veolia Environmental Services. The Solid Waste division of Veolia Environmental Services maintains a fleet of more than 3,000 trucks, heavy equipment, and support vehicles. The company is dedicated to reducing petroleum use and emissions through route optimization, alternative fuels, and hybridization. As of 2012, the company operates four CNG fueling stations and more than 100 CNG refuse-collection and support vehicles. Veolia joined the partnership in December 2011.

A list of current National Clean Fleets Partners and additional background on the initiative can be found online at the National Clean Fleets Partnership Fact Sheet and Progress Update Web page.