COAL VALLEY, IL - Over the next three years, global elevator and escalator company KONE Inc. plans to replace its fleet of 700 service vehicles with the Ford Transit Connect.

The Transit Connect is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified SmartWay vehicle. KONE's eventual fleet is expected to be more than two thirds (68 percent) SmartWay vehicles, resulting in a 3,000-ton (13 percent) reduction in yearly greenhouse gases in three years, according to the company.

KONE recently achieved ISO 14001:2004 certification at two manufacturing facilities and one supply unit in North America, adding to its environmental efforts. As part of the company's environmental commitment, KONE no longer manufactures hydraulic elevator systems. Instead, KONE prides itself on its KONE EcoDisc hoisting machine, which avoids hydraulic fluid issues while saving half or more of the energy consumed by a traditional hydraulic or traction elevator.

Another example of KONE energy-saving technologies includes regenerative drives, which recover excess braking energy from the elevator, converting it to electricity for use in the building.