April 1, 2011 / 10:27 AM / 8 years ago

FedEx, UPS fleet upgrades support Obama energy push

Trucks enter and leave the UPS facility in Hodgkins, Illinois December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Frank Polich

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce on Friday a fresh commitment from five major companies, including FedEx and United Parcel Service, to reduce oil consumption by upgrading their fleets.

The two transport companies along with AT&T, PepsiCo and Verizon are charter members of a National Clean Fleets Partnership group that aims to reduce use of diesel fuel and gasoline in their companies’ cars and trucks by using electric vehicles and alternative fuels.

The five companies are pledging to reduce their collective petroleum consumption by more than 7 million gallons a year by deploying 20,000 hybrid and other types of vehicles that run on biofuels, electric power and other advanced technologies, the White House said in a statement.

The effort is part of Obama’s newly announced goal of reducing U.S. imports of foreign oil by one-third by 2025.

“Fleets, which are typically centrally managed and comprised of a large number of vehicles, offer significant opportunities to reduce fuel use and carbon pollution,” the White House statement said.

The companies represent five of the United States’ largest national fleets with more than 275,000 vehicles owned and operated between them, it said.

Obama will highlight the agreement with a tour of a UPS shipping facility in nearby Maryland where he will view vehicles from those companies’ “clean fleets.”

His administration is encouraging other companies to join the effort. The Department of Energy will offer technical expertise, resources and support to assist companies in their fleet upgrades as part of the program.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott

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