Yesterday, March 11th, AT&T announced plans to purchase a large amount of hybrid vehicles in the near future.  According to AT&T, they will spend up to $565 million during the next decade to purchase more than 15,000 hybrid and natural gas powered vehicles.  According to AT&T, Ford will be their major supplier of hybrid and natural gas vehicles.

AT&T said that the deal would not only be an environmental decision, they also want to help out the U.S. economy.  Purchasing a large volume of vehicles could save over 1,000 jobs in the next 5 years.

The program will begin with the purchase of large trucks and vans from Ford that will be converted to natural gas by an outside company.  AT&T hopes to purchase hybrid vehicles from Ford as more become available that suit the needs of the telecommunications company.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, "While there are no easy solutions to the challenges facing our nation, this investment is a first step on our part to help boost other industries while at the same time encouraging wider use and production of efficient vehicles and domestic fuel alternatives."

AT&T plans to spend $215 million to replace the passenger vehicles that are currently in their fleet.  They are looking for suitable alternative fuel models to fill this need.  AT&T plans to replace their entire fleet of 7,100 cars over the next decade with hybrid vehicles or other advanced technology vehicles as the become available on the market.

Ford plans to introduce several new hybrid vehicles including the Ford Fusion in the near future.  If Ford can meet the requirements of AT&T, this agreement will provide Ford with a sales outlet for thousands of hybrids and advanced technology vehicles over the course of the next decade.

Source:  AT&T Inc.