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Putting Electric Trucks and Vans to the Test in Verizon's Fleet

by Employee ‎03-06-2012 11:41 AM - edited ‎03-06-2012 11:41 AM

via_motors133x356.gifWe've been attacking the problem of vehicle emissions in many different ways, from adding alternative-fuel vehicles to our fleet, to minimizing the time vehicles spend idling, down to reducing the amount of equipment we haul around in our vans to lower weight and save gas. One exciting development announced today is a collaboration with VIA Motors to develop and test extended range electric pick-up trucks and vans in Verizon's fleet.

 

These work vehicles rely on a combination of batteries supplemented by a small fuel-efficient gas-powered generator. But VIA demo vehicles drive most of their daily work routes entirely on electric power, with a range of roughly 400 miles, and get an estimated 100 miles-per-gallon of gas. And it can be charged by plugging into a standard electrical outlet overnight.

 

Cargo vans and pick-up trucks are some of the most common vehicles we use. They typically carry thousands of pounds of equipment, can save a lot more money than lighter vehicles by shifting to electricity. The fine folks at VIA anticipate that the Verizon electrified work vehicles should improve fleet fuel economy up to 300 percent while cutting emissions in half or more and reducing maintenance costs. We could even use the onboard generator to power work tools or provide emergency power.

 

This project will test VIA's technology in our real-life work environment. If it's successful, it will demonstrate the practicality and potential for real-life dollar savings from electric work vehicles. Not just for us, but for any fleet.

 

We have a long-term goal of making 15 percent of our fleet powered by alternative fuels by 2015. We already have about 2,500 alternative fuel vehicles — about 7 percent. This collaboration is a step in the right direction, and I'm glad to be part of the leading edge of alternative-fuel vehicle development.

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