Report: Green fleet explosion by 2015

We've written plenty about green fleet and sustainable fleet management initiatives, because they are among the biggest ways for businesses with extensive field services footprints to adjust their impact on the environment -- and save money to boot. Now, cleantech watchdog firm Pike Research is predicting that more than 1.3 million plug-in electric vehicles will be purchased as part of corporate and government fleets by 2015.

By the end of that period, there will be roughly 400,000 electric vehicles sold on an annual basis specifically intended for fleet operations use, according to the research firm.

Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst notes in the press release about the new research projection:

"Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are primarily known for their consumer applications, but they will play a greater and greater role in fleets as well. Fleet managers will be drawn to the fuel efficiency benefits of PEVs in many cases to satisfy requirements to reduce overall fleet emissions. Tax incentives are also a powerful motivator to some fleet operators, though others will not factor this into the equation because they do not qualify or because the tax incentive is not put back into their budget."

Passenger cars -- rather than larger trucks and fans -- will make up the majority of those PEV purchases, approximately 80 percent, according to Pike. Another factor: route predictability. The more predictable and finite the range, the more likely PEVs are to be an appropriate purchase choice.

The photo with this blog is actually of a large electric vehicle but it is here to prove a point, because AT&T has been one of the largest beneficiaries of green fleet initiatives. Right now, many of the carrier's alternative fuel vehicles are running on compressed natural gas. But the fact remains the same: in 2010, those vehicles helped AT&T avoid purchasing more than 1 million gallons of traditional gasoline and diesel fuel. And the company is moving more of its purchases toward electric, as appropriate for the communities it serves.

The Obama White House announced enhanced resources for companies and agencies seeking to build out their green fleet initiatives about a month ago . It is all part of the master plan to reduce petroleum consumption in the United States.

Related SmartPlanet stories about green fleet initiatives:

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