KALAMAZOO, MI - AT&T continues to green its nationwide fleet, now replacing five of its Kalamazoo, Mich., vehicles with Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicles. Among the 1,800-plus alternative fuel vehicles the telecommunications company has put on the road across the country over the past year, 103 operate in Michigan, according to MLive.com.

The local cars are typically being used by sales people and managers who work with network technicians, said Katie Dugan, the St. Louis-based manager of AT&T's Lead Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program.

According to Dugan, the company's switch to alternative-fuel vehicles includes a mix of cars and trucks, including the Ford Escape, Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Ford E-450 cutaway truck (a delivery truck), the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, and the Ford E-250 van.

AT&T spokesman Joe Steele that about 99 percent of the company's current fleet of vehicles - including traditional gas and alternative-fuel cars and trucks - are American-made. The company has 71 alternative fuel vehicles in the Detroit area, 19 in the Ann Arbor area, and others in Lincoln Park and Port Huron. The company has deployed such vehicles in more than 350 cities and 29 states, Dugan said.

In March 2009, AT&T announced a $565 million investment over 10 years to replace about 15,000 vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Ford Motor Co. is to be its biggest beneficiary, with AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson saying the company would buy about 8,000 Ford work vans or technician trucks that run on compressed natural gas.

Steele could not specify how much money AT&T would save by running more fuel-efficient vehicles, but said the company would save 49 million gallons of gas and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons over 10 years, reported MLive.com.

AT&T deployed its 2,000th alternative-fuel vehicle and 1,500th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle in its corporate vehicle fleet July 14, making it one of the largest CNG vehicle fleets in the U.S.

AT&T is ranked No. 1 on Automotive Fleet's Top 300 Commercial Fleets listing for 2010 and No. 20 on the Top 50 Green Fleets.