Thursday, May 20, 2010

Verizon Expands Fleet of Alternative-Energy Vehicles

Verizon unveiled five hybrid aerial-lift trucks, the first of 160 alternative-energy vehicles that the company will add to its fleet in New York this year.

The five vehicles, also known as bucket trucks, have batteries that help power the engine and also provide the sole power for the mechanical boom that raises a four-sided platform, or "bucket," to enable a technician to work on overhead telephone lines or other equipment. In the traditional versions of Verizon's bucket trucks, the mechanical booms are powered by the trucks' gasoline or diesel engines.

Heavy-duty chargers that plug into an electrical outlet are used to recharge the hybrid trucks' batteries. The batteries will be recharged at night, when power demand from the nation's grid -- generally the cleanest and most efficiently produced energy -- is low.

Verizon noted that it is rolling out more than 1,100 alternative energy vehicles across the country this year, and increasing use of biodiesel and flex-fuel (E85) to power 470 vehicles. The company will operate approximately 250 alternative energy vehicles in New York by the end of 2010.