Verizon Accelerates Green Fleet with New CNGs and Hybrids

DEARBORN, MI — A series of recent investments will add more than 1,000 compressed natural gas and electric hybrids to Verizon's fleet.

The telecommunications company will add 501 E-250 cargo vans converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), Ford announced Friday. Verizon technicians performing installations and repairs in homes and businesses will use the vans in key markets.

The move will help Verizon avoid 1.62 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. BAF will perform the CNG conversions.

Ford said this week it would expand its alternative fuel options when it begins selling 6.8-liter F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cabs later this year.

Earlier this month, General Motors announced Verizon bought 576 Chevrolet Silverado Two-Mode Hybrids. The vehicles use up to 40 percent less fuel than conventional full-size pickups, or an estimated 21 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway. The Silverado hybrid can drive up to 30 mpg on electricity, while its Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine can operate in V-4 mode.

“A major part of our sustainability strategy is to make smart use of lower-carbon alternatives to power our fleet and the operation of our high-IQ broadband networks,” James Gowen, Verizon's chief sustainability officer, said in a statement at the time. “By adding 1,600 alternative energy vehicles to our fleet this year we’re conserving fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in communities across the country.”

In addition to a focus on fuel efficiency, Verizon's fleet strategy also includes a push to use diversity as a component of its purchasing decisions through its Supplier Diversity program. The company purchased the 576 hybrid pickups from Fairway Motors in Hazelton, Penn., for example, which is woman-owned.

Verizon also bought the 501 E-250 vans at Ukiah Ford, a minority-owned business in Ukiah, Calif. The BAF CNG conversions will be completed at Steelweld Equipment Company in Hemet, Calif., and Temple, Texas, and at North American Equipment Upfitters in Hooksett, N.H. -- which are both owned by women.

Image courtesy of Verizon.