Photo: XL Hybrids.

Photo: XL Hybrids.

Verizon has replaced 234 of its gas-powered vans in New York City with hybrid-electric vans using XL Hybrids technology, to support the city's clean energy goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.

The vans, which are all Chevy Express 2500 models, will also aim to help Verizon achieve a corporate goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 50% over the next decade, the company stated in a release.

The XL3 hybrid-electric system that is being used on the Chevrolet vans saves fuel through regenerative braking, a process by which the XL3 electric motor helps slow the vehicle when the driver brakes, charging the battery.

The communications company purchased the new vans using rebates offered through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and is a partnership of the New York State Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Transportation, and CalStart.

The Truck Voucher Incentive Program provides point-of-sale rebates to reduce the cost for businesses and municipalities that want to purchase new clean vehicles or retrofit commercial vehicles and buses with hybrid or natural gas power or with zero-emission vehicles.

“The objectives of clean air and efficient transportation systems should go hand-in-hand. Creative initiatives like this one are incentivizing businesses to buy clean vehicles, helping to prime the market and improve the environment and quality of life for future generations,” said New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas.

The transition to hybrid-electric vans is expected to provide a 20 to 50% improvement on fleet MPG and CO2 emissions savings, achieving payback from 75,000 to 100,0000 miles, according to a news release.

“Because of the busy stop-and-go traffic in New York City, XL Hybrids’ technology is an ideal solution for Verizon’s 234 hybrid-electric vans,” said Clay Siegert, co-founder and COO of XL Hybrids.

Verizon and XL Hybrids are using wireless data connectivity systems in all the hybrid-electric vans in the program, including the XL Link cloud-based big data analytics system, according to the company.  XL Link can report fuel economy performance, and track key performance indicators like idling, vehicle duty cycle, carbon dioxide emissions, and vehicle uptime.

"We've deployed more than 24 megawatts of green energy capacity in the last five years with plans to deploy 24 more by 2025. And with the addition of these hybrid vehicles, our fleet is as efficient as ever as we continue to use less fuel year after year. We thank NYSERDA for their partnership in helping to make this happen," said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the availability of $2.2 million from the Environmental Protection Fund in rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric, (plug-in hybrid or battery) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for installation of public charging or fuel cell refueling infrastructure, according to a release.

New York State has also revised regulations to clarify charging station ownership rules and supported research and demonstration projects on new plug-in electric car technologies and policies.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet