AT&T’s plans to spend $350 million to purchase compressed natural gas vehicles moved forward today as Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (Nasdaq: CLNE) said it would build and run the CNG fueling stations required.
At 8,000 vehicles, this is the largest corporate commitment to CNG vehicles to date in the U.S., and is part of a $565 million, long-term strategy at AT&T to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by 2019.
“AT&T’s commitment to alternative-fuel vehicles reflects our long-term goal to minimize dependence on imported sources of fuel and explore new automotive technologies,” said Charlene Lake, AT&T chief sustainability officer.
Last year at the start of the program, AT&T purchased 600 Ford E-Series vans converted CNG fuel from Dallas-based BAF Technologies, which is owned by Clean Energy. The CNG vehicles will be used to provide and maintain communications services for AT&T customers.
Proponents of CNG claim that the fuel results in lower emissions since natural gas contains less carbon than any other fossil fuel, and, therefore, produces lower CO2 emissions per vehicle mile traveled.
However, natural gas contains methane, another principal greenhouse gas. Methane traps more than 20 times as much heat as carbon and accelerates climate change. Proponents claim that the increase in methane emissions from the use of natural gas is offset by a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions compared to other fuels. (more…)