Verizon is doubling its fleet of hybrid sedans, UPS will add zero-emissions vans to routes in the United Kingdom and Germany, and Cox Communications is getting hybrid bucket trucks for operations in six states.

The firms announced their efforts to bump up the number of eco-friendly vehicles in their fleets last week.

Verizon is adding 100 Toyota Prius hybrid sedans to its nationwide fleet, a move that doubles the number of hybrid sedans in its motorpool and brings the total to 200. The new cars will be used in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Verizon started phasing in hybrid sedans in late 2007, when it put 100 of them on the road to replace traditional sedans.

The hybrids can achieve an mpg that is almost double that of conventional sedans of comparable size and emit less than half the carbon, the company said. With the 100 new hybrids, Verizon expects to save 16,000 gallons of fuel a year. The firm also estimated that it will cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1.4 metric tons per vehicle annually.

Verizon's other eco-friendly vehicles include 13 hybrid service vans, which were specially designed to the firm's specifications and put to work in Maryland and Texas in 2007.

In the U.K. and Germany, UPS facilities are poised to receive 12 electric delivery vehicles from British manufacturer Modec, the maker of the first purpose-built zero-emission van. Six vehicles are to be added to UPS routes in London in February and be based at the company's Camden facility. The site, which lies in London's Low Emission Zone, is the firm's central package hub in the capital. The other six vans will be used in Germany.