President Obama, fresh off of his energy security speech earlier this week, focused his attention today on the greening of America’s commercial fleets. He made an appearance at a UPS shipping facility where he laid out plans for a new public-private partnership that is being called the National Clean Fleets Partnership.
The National Clean Fleets Partnership, according to the White House, is designed to encourage large companies to reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. It will be overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and try to tackle large commercial fleets that, in 2009, saw more than 3 million traditional fuel vehicles on the roads.
Initial partners in this relationship with the federal government are AT&T, FedEx, Pepsi, UPS and Verizon. These five companies alone represent some of the nation’s largest “national fleets and collectively own and operate more than 275,000 vehicles. Their planned current and near-term petroleum reduction strategies will account for the deployment of over 20,000 advanced technology vehicles and annual petroleum displacement in excess of 7 million gallons.”
Though no specifics of financials were mentioned, the partnership will put the DOE at the needs of these companies and others, offering what is said to be specialized resources, technical expertise, and support to help in the greening of the commercial fleets. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program’s “Clean Cities” initiative and will compliment the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart way Transport partnership program with the freight industry.