Express transportation giants UPS and FedEx joined with AT&T, Verizon and Pepsi-Frito Lay in a coalition to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
Executives from the companies met with President Obama Friday at a UPS facility in Landover, Md., to view trucks powered by different clean technologies.
"If you're a business that needs to transport goods, I'm challenging you to replace your old fleet with a clean energy fleet that's not only good for your bottom line, but good for our economy, good for our country and good for our planet," said Obama.
The president Wednesday ordered federal agencies to purchase more clean-energy vehicles as part of a long-term plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
The companies in the National Clean Fleets Partnership pledged to support the energy security effort and work with the government to develop new technologies.
"Though many hurdles still remain and the path to success will not be easy, the sustainable business benefits of alternative fuels cannot be under-emphasized," said UPS Chairman and CEO Scott Davis. "We must deal with the short-term problems of cost differentials and infrastructure to prepare for our long-term future."
The five companies in the partnership operate more than 275,000 vehicles, though only a small portion of those vehicles are powered by alternative fuels.
UPS operates nearly 2,000 alternative fuel vehicles, including electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids and natural gas powered trucks.
Deutsche Post DHL and Ryder System announced orders for hundreds of electric, hybrid and natural gas trucks and delivery vehicles yesterday.
DHL will use 80 electric and hybrid trucks to make deliveries in New York City, while Ryder will lease more than 200 natural gas trucks to West Coast customers.
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