Death Star goes electric: AT&T gets first Smith Newton for expanding alt-fuel fleet
The Newton is available with either a sodium nickel chloride zebra battery or a lithium iron phosphate battery pack but AT&T has not said which one is being used in its test truck. AT&T has already begun deployment of 8,000 trucks fueled by compressed natural gas along with over 100 hybrid and other alt-fuel vehicles. Over the next decade, over 7,100 gasoline-fueled cars will be replaced by other alternative fuel cars.
AT&T Accepts Keys to Next Generation All-Electric Cargo Truck
Purchase Follows AT&T 10-Year Commitment to Spend up to $565 Million on Alternative-Fuel Vehicles
Washington, District of Columbia, July 28, 2009
AT&T* today accepted the keys to its new all-electric cargo truck. AT&T, along with three other companies, received one of six trucks delivered by Smith Electric on Capitol Hill today – the first in a series of next-generation, all-electric commercial vehicles entering service across the United States. The vehicle, known as the Smith Newton, is the world's largest electric battery-powered truck and the first commercial all-electric truck to achieve new vehicle emissions certification in California. Acceptance of the vehicle comes on the heels of AT&T's announcement in March of a 10-year, $565 million commitment to deploy more than 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet.
"AT&T is committed to minimizing dependence on imported sources of fuel and exploring new automotive technologies to reduce our environmental impact," said Jerome Webber, Vice President of Fleet Operations. "This type of truck can help us accomplish both by further decreasing our emissions and increasing our fuel savings."
The Smith Newton provides AT&T with a new alternative fuel option to trial, in that the truck does not release greenhouse gas emissions, runs without noise or vibration and stores electric energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking. AT&T will use the truck primarily to transport cargo to various AT&T locations within its service territory.
Deployment of the Smith Newton vehicle follows AT&T's decision to invest up to $565 million to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by 2019. The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Mich., estimates the new vehicles will save 49 million gallons of gasoline, reduce the country's need for imported oil by one million barrels and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons over the 10-year deployment period. That is equivalent to removing the emissions from more than 38,600 traditional passenger vehicles for a year.
The trial of the Smith Newton truck is consistent with AT&T's overall business strategy to test and assess a mix of technologies that may be right for its service needs. This strategy began with the deployment of four electric hybrid passenger vehicles in late 2007 and 105 alternative-fuel vehicles in more than 30 U.S. cities in 2008. Through these successful pilot programs, AT&T learned that a mix of solutions is right for its fleet and that multiple technologies can help reduce operating costs over time, while effectively reducing its fuel consumption and impact on the environment.
AT&T will assess the repair and maintenance costs associated with an electric battery vehicle, maximum and average mile range between charges, energy costs to operate an all electric vehicle, acceleration and performance of the truck and driver feedback on the overall performance.
In addition to deploying the Smith Newton vehicle, AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles over the next five years. AT&T's investment represents the largest U.S. corporate commitment to CNG vehicles to date. CAR estimates that this will support or create more than 1,000 jobs for each of the five year CNG deployment
AT&T will also invest about $215 million to replace retiring gasoline-powered passenger vehicles in its fleet with alternative-fuel models. AT&T expects to replace 7,100 passenger cars over the next 10 years. The alternative-fuel vehicles will be used by employees in a variety of diverse work functions across AT&T's operations. They also are expected to offer up to a 39 percent improvement in fuel economy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 29 percent over traditional gasoline-powered passenger vehicles.
In addition to taking steps to make its fleet more efficient, AT&T is committed to helping its customers make their commercial fleets more efficient via a portfolio of fleet management products and services. Using AT&T's nationwide mobile broadband network and GPS partner solutions, AT&T provides fleet managers with the ability to actively manage their vehicles, increase efficiency and reduce fuel and insurance costs. Nearly all of AT&T's own technician vehicles are equipped with similar GPS capabilities, which have provided increased visibility into business operations and allowed AT&T to uncover opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
View an image of AT&T's Smith Newton vehicle here. For more information about AT&T's sustainability efforts, please visit www.att.com/sustainability.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation's fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
© 2009 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
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