BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Verizon will add more than 260 hybrid vehicles to its New Jersey fleet this year as part of its ongoing commitment to conserving fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to improved air quality in the communities it serves across the Garden State.

Verizon New Jersey officials, joined by Bob Martin, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), made the announcement Thursday (Sept. 30) at the company's corporate center in Basking Ridge.

The new vehicles - part of the 1,600 alternative-energy vehicles Verizon plans to add to its fleet across the country this year - will include Toyota hybrid sedans, Chevrolet hybrid pickup trucks and unique, new "mild hybrid" aerial fiber splicing trucks.  

The Chevrolet hybrid pickups will be used by FiOS and traditional telephone customer-service technicians and are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 43 percent over the vans they will replace.

The aerial fiber splicing trucks are equipped with an aerial lift device, or "bucket," for aerial line work and an environmentally controlled body compartment for splicing fiber-optic cable.  The lift, splicing equipment and climate controls are powered by lithium-ion batteries, eliminating the need for a gasoline- or diesel-powered generator.  This will save approximately one gallon of petroleum fuel consumption per hour of operation and reduce six to 12 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually per aerial truck, depending on usage.  Verizon used this mild hybrid solution because conventional hybrid technology offers little benefit for equipment such as aerial splicer trucks with typically low-mileage drive cycles.

Martin reviewed a couple of the hybrid vehicles on display at the corporate center and talked with members of the company's fleet management team about the benefits of the new vehicles.

"I commend Verizon and its employees for their enthusiasm, vision and commitment to the environment," Martin said. "Verizon's new hybrid fleet will save gasoline, reduce emissions and perhaps even inspire people to consider purchasing hybrid vehicles for themselves. Companies such as Verizon are leading us into the future by implementing projects such as this that protect the environment while driving economic growth."  

James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon, said, "Using lower-carbon alternatives to power our fleet and our highly intelligent broadband networks are just some of the ways we're reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Verizon employees have also been reducing CO2 emissions by cutting engine idling times. Since 2008, Verizon employees have conserved more than 2.7 million gallons of fuel, the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emitted by about 4,580 vehicles annually.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet