Today, hundreds of AT&T employees in California were among the first to test-drive the latest electric cars as part of a statewide education initiative led by the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative (PEV Collaborative) to help California become the first state to reach 250,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year.
The DRIVE THE DREAM Ride-and-Drive Summer Celebration event, hosted by AT&T California, was the first in a series of test-drive events as part of the summer ride-and-drive campaign. The initiative will include public education events and activities, including a series of similar test-drive events at corporate and community locations throughout the state over the next several months.
“The future depends on the well-being of our planet,” said Ken McNeely, president, AT&T California. “AT&T is committed to reducing our own carbon footprint – improving the efficiency of our network and making our own fleet more fuel and carbon efficient. Now, we are asking our employees to help make a difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the good of our state.”
During the kick-off event, McNeely asked all 36,000 AT&T employees statewide to consider an electric vehicle when purchasing their next personal car and encouraged them to take advantage of the employee discounts programs offered by AT&T, where employees can save an average of $3,279 off the MSRP on select vehicles.
McNeely also announced that the company is evaluating options to increase the number of EV charging stations for California employees.
“With the support and leadership from companies like AT&T and our other collaborative partners, we can become the first state to achieve a quarter-million plug-in vehicles,” said California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative Executive Director Christine Kehoe. “Combined federal and state incentives, California EV consumers can save up to an additional $10,000 per electric vehicle purchased. All these efforts help reach Californians with the benefits of plug-in vehicles to help achieve this goal.”
Under Governor Brown, California has set the most aggressive clean transportation goals in the country including creating a charging network to handle 1 million electric vehicles by 2020. Businesses and public sector partners have joined in the collaboration and initiated innovative programs to enhance workplace charging, fleet vehicles and provide incentives to employees for the purchase of PEVs. The PEV Collaborative reported that more than 50,000 plug-in vehicles were purchased in California during the past six months alone, for the first time reaching 200,000, a 25 percent increase since October 2015.
“California is the home of car culture and known for setting trends that the rest of the nation and the world follow,” added Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. “Partnerships like the one between AT&T and the PEV Collaborative help spread the word that electric vehicles are powerful, quiet and cool. We hope other companies will catch the wave.”
The DRIVE THE DREAM Ride and Drive Summer Celebration event hosted by AT&T California was a high-energy event featuring ice cream, music and the latest electric cars from several major automakers. Hundreds of employees attended the event to speak with automakers, charging station manufacturers and PEV Collaborative partners, providing information about plug-in vehicles and incentive programs available to encourage purchases.
“As a member of the PEV Collaborative, Ford is proud to partner with AT&T and other companies to help grow the plug-in hybrid market in California and beyond,” said Ford Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering Director Cynthia Williams. “At Ford, we’re committed to changing the way the world moves. Working with the PEV Collaborative is an important way we lean into this commitment with our California customers.”
AT&T’s participation in the “DRIVE THE DREAM” Ride and Drive Celebration builds off its commitment to help create a more sustainable future by enhancing the efficiency of its network, delivering low-carbon customer solutions and supporting organizations that help conserve and protect natural resources. In 2015, AT&T announced a new goal to enable carbon savings 10 times the footprint of its operations by 2025. The company has invested $565 million to make its fleet more fuel and carbon efficient and set a goal to deploy 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles (AFV) through 2018, including more than 4,400 AFVs across California.