Verizon has placed what is likely the largest order to date for Chevrolet Silverado hybrid pickup trucks to add to its service vehicle fleet. A total of 576 of the two-mode hybrid trucks will be used by Verizon technicians for service calls in urban areas around the country. The Silverado and its GMC twin, the Sierra are the only production hybrid pickup trucks available and although they are very fuel efficient at 21 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway, they have not sold well.

The hybrid truck starts at $38,340, making them unpalatable to most commercial buyers and many of the retail, personal use customers have moved away from pickup trucks in the last several years. In fact, sales of the GM hybrids have been so low that Chrysler canceled its plan to introduce a hybrid version of the Ram pickup later this year.

In order to get the most out of the hybrid trucks, Verizon went to BrandFX Body Company to get a special lightweight bed insert developed to store the tools and equipment carried by the technicians.

[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

576 Chevrolet Hybrid Pickups Green Verizon's Fleet

The World's Only Hybrid Pickup Provides a Unique Environmental Solution for Fleet Customers

DETROIT – As part of an initiative to green its fleet, Verizon purchased 576 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrids, the world's only two-mode hybrid pickup. The Silverado's two-mode hybrid system blends an internal combustion engine with battery-powered electric motors to offer customers the advanced technology needed to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

"When Verizon first approached us about environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles for their urban drivers, we knew the Silverado Hybrid was the perfect fit because of its outstanding city and highway MPG ratings," said Brian Small, GM Fleet and Commercial Operation general manager. "Immediately the team went to work to meet Verizon's ambitious July delivery deadline."

The 2010 Silverado Hybrid is a full-size, fully-capable, V8-powered truck that delivers up to a 40 percent improvement in city fuel economy. By applying GM's unique two-mode hybrid technology, the Silverado Hybrid provides fuel efficiency with an EPA estimated 21 MPG city and 22 MPG highway, the best fuel economy of any full-size pickup. At 21 MPG city, it delivers the city fuel economy of a 4-cylinder sedan.

GM's two-mode system maintains the truck's dependability, performance and utility, while significantly improving fuel efficiency. GM's two-mode hybrid technology system not only enables the Silverado to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, it allows the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods. This technology is the only hybrid system capable of being used in full-size trucks, which further emphasizes Chevrolet's full-size truck leadership.

"A major part of our sustainability strategy is to make smart use of lower-carbon alternatives to power our fleet and the operation of our high-IQ broadband networks," said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. "By adding 1,600 alternative energy vehicles to our fleet this year we're conserving fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in communities across the country."

Committed to finding practical and innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint of its global operations, Verizon launched a comprehensive sustainability program earlier this year. The program expanded the number of alternative energy vehicles in their fleet – one part of a multi-pronged approach. Additionally, reflecting their commitment to doing business with diverse suppliers, Verizon placed the order for the 576 hybrid pickups, with Fairway Motors, a woman-owned Chevrolet dealership in Hazelton, Penn.

The pickups, to be deployed in urban areas in various Verizon's markets, are powered by the standard Vortec 6.0L V8 engine delivering 332 horsepower and 367 lb.-ft of torque, it has a towing capacity of 6,100 lbs. (2WD) or 5,900 lbs. (4x4). The vehicle also comes with an 8-year/100,000 mile limited warranty on hybrid components and a 5-year/100,000 transferable powertrain limited warranty.

To further capitalize on the Silverado Hybrid's fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, Verizon collaborated with BrandFX Body Company and GM to develop the light-weight fiberglass insert to be installed in the truck's bed. The composite insert, the lightest weatherproof container on the market, will house Verizon's service equipment, such as ladders, wiring, connectors and television set boxes.

"We have a long history with Verizon and it's always our pleasure to work with OEMs to provide the most fuel-efficient composite products for automotive applications," said Lee Finley, BrandFX Body Company co-owner.

For more information on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, and to see the full lineup of GM Fleet and Commercial vehicles, visit gmfleet.com.

About Chevrolet

Chevrolet is one of America's best-known and best-selling automotive brands, and one of the fastest growing brands in the world. With fuel solutions that range from "gas-friendly to gas-free," Chevrolet has 11 models that offer an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway, and offers two hybrid models. More than 2.5 million Chevrolets that run on E85 biofuel have been sold. Chevrolet delivers expressive design, spirited performance and strives to provide the best value in every segment in which it competes. More information can be found at www.chevrolet.com. For more information on the Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt or join the conversation at chevroletvoltage.com.


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