American Electric Power, which operates 110 flex-fuel vehicles, 24 hybrid utility trucks, and more than 80 hybrid cars, including three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, has become the first utility to be recognized as a SmartWay Transport partner by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. AEP has purchased 800,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel since 2005.
The company is testing new tires that have shown a 1.5 mile-per-gallon increase in fuel economy, and also educating employees about fuel conservation.
These transportation initiatives are part of the regional utility’s larger corporate sustainability initiatives. Once the nation’s biggest coal burner and No. 1 industrial CO2 emitter, AEP didn’t think it could significantly reduce emissions before 2020, said the CEO as recently as July ’07.
But after paying $4.6 billion in a record clean air settlement that fall, the company stepped up its efforts.