President Obama Recognizes Verizon's Fleet of Hybrid and Alternative-Energy Vehicles in New Jersey

Verizon is getting national attention for its commitment to energy-efficient vehicles in New Jersey.

Verizon officials showcased some of its newest energy-efficient vehicles in the state to President Barack Obama on April 1 as part of an ongoing corporate campaign to educate lawmakers and other key decision makers about the benefits of green vehicles. Verizon, which has the third-largest corporate vehicle fleet in the nation, was among five companies recognized by Obama for adding substantive numbers of green vehicles.

Verizon provided three of its latest energy-efficient vehicles for the event, which featured alternative-energy trucks and cars operated by some of the nation's largest corporations. 

"We're bringing environmentally friendly innovation and advanced technologies to our motor fleet operations in New Jersey and nationally," said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. "By seizing the opportunity to help improve the environment, our vehicles are saving energy, reducing emissions and improving our greenhouse gas profile."

At the event, Verizon displayed a hybrid Chevrolet pickup, an all-electric Chevrolet Volt and a first-of-its-kind hybrid aerial-splicing vehicle - all of which are being used in New Jersey. Over the past few years, the company has added hundreds of hybrid Toyota Priuses, as well as more than 500 compressed natural gas vans and 700 hybrid pickups.

Verizon is also adding more than 260 hybrid vehicles to its New Jersey fleet 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.

"I commend Verizon and its employees for their enthusiasm, vision and commitment to the environment," said state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Martin. "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." 

Verizon is the first communications company to engineer and deploy a hybrid fiber-splicing unit.  Because of their weight, these vehicles - commonly known as "bucket trucks" - traditionally consume significant amounts of fuel.  To reduce fuel consumption, the company incorporated a hybrid engine and innovative onboard batteries that assist in the vehicles' acceleration, and power the bucket lift and lighting units.

"We're replacing less-efficient vehicles with transformational, energy-efficient cars and trucks - a move that will have a long-term impact on reducing and improving fuel consumption and reducing pollutants," said Samuel Delgado, vice president for external affairs, Verizon New Jersey.

Verizon was also the first company in the nation to deploy hybrid pickup trucks on a large scale, in a commercial setting. Last year, Verizon deployed nationally more than 700 of these vehicles - which improve fuel efficiency by 50 percent and reduce carbon dioxide by 43 percent - and plans to purchase up to 300 additional units in 2011. 

The company will also add several new all-electric Chevrolet Volts to its fleet in 2011.  The Volts can travel up to 350 miles on a single charge.

Verizon has implemented other environmentally friendly programs in its fleet operations, including an energy-saving initiative that requires drivers to turn off vehicles instead of letting them idle. This program saved 1.7 million gallons of fuel in a single year, equivalent to eliminating more than 33 million pounds of CO2.

Verizon's "telematics" program leverages the company's wireless LTE network to integrate fleet global positioning systems and onboard diagnostic data to monitor and further minimize fuel consumption, speeding and poor driver habits that contribute to energy waste and consumption.

Nationally, Verizon now has nearly 2,000 alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet, and plans to have up to 15 percent of its fleet operating with alternative fuels by 2015.  

To learn more about how Verizon is reducing the environmental impact in New Jersey and nationally, visit http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/green-press-kit/ or http://responsibility.verizon.com/.     

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.