AT&T just announced that it will spend over half a billion dollars over the next 10 years in an attempt to reduce fuel usage and ostensibly, stimulate the economy. CEO Randall Stephenson stated that companies like AT&T have an “obligation to make investments that will drive the nation’s economic growth and productivity.”
To meet this obligation, AT&T will expand its alternative-fuel vehicle fleet from 100 to 8,000 vehicles by 2020. These vehicles will be U.S.-made compressed natural gas vehicles, amounting to $350 million worth of the total $565 million. Another 7,100 vehicles in AT&T’s passenger fleet will swapped out for electric-hybrids.
AT&T and other U.S. corporations have a unique opportunity to partner with the new administration as it works to lead the country out of this economic downturn. This investment is a first step on our part to help boost other industries while at the same time encouraging wider use and production of efficient vehicles and domestic fuel alternatives.
–Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T
It’s not clear why AT&T chose CNG as their preferred source of fuel. It’s also not clear why they’re calling electric hybrids ‘alternative fuel vehicles’, since these vehicles derive all their energy from gasoline (and why almost every other media source ran with this without looking into it?)
$565 million is a sizable enough investment to consider more dramatic solutions, like installing an electric charging grid for plug-in hybrids, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. AT&T expects to reduce their total gasoline consumption by 49 million gallons over the next 10 years.
[Update 6:45 PST] Reuters: “The hybrids will include a combination of gas-electric and plug-ins, and the trial includes mostly those made by Ford, with some from Toyota Motor Corp, according to Tim Harden, president of supply chain at the company.”
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