Less than 2 years ago, AT&T committed to replacing approximately 15,000 of its nearly 76,000 fleet vehicles with alternative fuel models by 2019. Since then, AT & T has deployed 2,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet vehicles, a major green fleet milestone. The company’s 15,000 alt-fuel fleet vehicle plan will displace 2.5 million barrels of oil, reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons, and create or save 5,500 jobs, according to the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute.
The company expects to spend an estimated $350 million over five years to purchase roughly 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet vehicles. CNG vehicles provide a reduction in carbon emissions – approximately 25 percent compared with traditional gasoline vehicles. They are also working with natural gas service providers to build up to 40 new CNG fueling stations to provide the infrastructure needed for the new vehicles. AT&T’s green fleet plan includes an approximately $215 million investment to replace 7,100 fleet passenger cars with alternative-fuel models. The measure will save 49 million gallons of gasoline over 10 years, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
To develop an environmentally responsible green fleet requires research, good planning, and effective implementation. In a recent Automotive Fleet article, AT&T discussed their best practices in developing a sustainable fleet strategy. Here are a few important items to consider when developing a successful green fleet strategy:
1. Make informed fleet management decisions.
AT&T’ trialed four hybrids in 2007, and 105 alternative-fuel vehicles in 2008. “Through these successful pilot programs, we learned that a mix of solutions is right for our fleet,” said Katie Dugan, lead AFV program manager for AT&T’s Supply Chain and Fleet Operations.
2. Choose the right fuel for the fleet.
“We require a fleet with multiple vehicle types, and we believe there are multiple technologies that can reduce our operating costs over time while effectively reducing our fuel consumption and impact on the environment,” Dugan explained.
3. Make sure you are making good decisions.
Think about the big picture. For example, CNG is suitable for the AT&T fleet, said Dugan, because it is “cost-effective, cleaner-burning, and readily available in our country.
4. Reduce fleet fuel consumption
Invest in a fleet management system that combine GPS vehicle tracking with a state-of-the-art reporting suite so you can make informed fleet management decisions. This will help you reduce fuel consumption and idling.