AT&T has unveiled a first-of-its-kind medium duty truck as the latest alternative-fuel vehicle addition to its California fleet. This specialized Ford F-450 truck, used to elevate a worker to the height of a telephone pole, has been converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) and contains a hybrid-electric system to power the aerial device.
The vehicle is part of the nearly 1,600 alternative fuel vehicles that have had been placed into service for the company throughout California - a move that on average is anticipated to avoid 3,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year and reduce annual consumption of traditional gasoline by more than 1 million gallons.
AT&T began deploying fleet vehicles with hybrid and CNG technology in 2008 as part of an overall commitment to minimize its environmental impact and explore renewable energy alternatives.
AT&T plans to spend up to $565 million in a 10-year initiative to deploy approximately 15,000 fleet vehicles nationwide with alternative-fuel models through 2018.
California was a natural choice for deploying alternative fuel vehicles because of the abundance of existing fueling station infrastructure.
"California continues to lead the way in adoption of clean technology," said Ken McNeely, president, AT&T California. "AT&T recognized California's leadership when looking at opportunities to add renewable energy resources to power our business operations. It's a classic case of 'build it and they will come,' which is precisely what we're doing."
AT&T has deployed more than 2,700 hybrid and CNG vehicles nationwide – with nearly 60 percent in California. Overall, the company expects to purchase up to 8,000 CNG vehicles through 2013, at an anticipated cost of up to $350 million.
Currently, the AT&T fleet includes more than 75,900 vehicles companywide. CNG and hybrid-electric vehicles are noted with a Green Technology insignia, making the vehicles easy to identify on the road.
"Compressed natural gas as a clean alternative fuel source suited for mid-size to heavy fleets is one of the most important steps we can take to help minimize our environmental impact and improve air quality in California," said California Public Utilities Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon. "I applaud AT&T for its significant commitment to this environmental initiative - it's another great example of how California is leading the way in clean energy investment."
"This specialized vehicle is one of the first of its kind in the country," said Jerome Webber, vice president AT&T Global Fleet Operations. "The aerial truck is a result of a collaborative effort among Altec Industries, Azure Dynamics and BAF, a Clean Energy company, to provide an alternative-fuel medium duty truck with the increased benefit of hybrid-electric power for the aerial device."
"This is a first step in deploying a cleaner fleet that our construction technicians will use to meet growing customer and business demands," said, Ernie Carey, senior vice president, AT&T Construction and Engineering, whose team will use the new aerial lift truck to build and maintain aerial outside plant facilities.