There are thousands of companies around the country with customer service fleets, often in urban areas. With fuel prices still hovering near $3 per gallon and the economy struggling, anything that can cut operating costs is helpful.
That's the kind of thinking that led Tyco Group company SimplexGrinnell to order 200 new Ford Fusion hybrids for its national fleet. SimplexGrinnell provides fire alarm, sprinkler and suppression systems as well as hospital communications systems. Technicians frequently visit client sites to check out and service these systems. So far, this is just a drop in the bucket for the 7,000-vehicle fleet. What to do with the non-hybrid vehicles? The company is running a Green Driver Challenge to encourage employees to be more efficient by checking tire pressures and avoiding extended periods of idling.
ADT security systems, which is also part of the Tyco Group, is ordering 3,000 Transit Connect compact vans for its fleet over the next six months. The new vans are expected to save $5.3 million a year in fuel compared to the vehicles they replace.