The national average for the price of self-serve regular gasoline is right around $3.50, down from its high a couple of months ago of just under $4. And considering how most cargo and service vans guzzle it down, that’s a ton of money spent every year just on fuel costs.

And regardless of one’s feelings on the dependence on foreign oil, or environmental concerns, it’s a pretty tempting time to start looking seriously at alternative-fuel vehicles. Where once they were something of a unique sight around town — remember what the first hybrid cars looked like? — they’re now becoming a lot more common. And for the companies that have already begun making the switch, the savings are really adding up.

SEE ALSO: The Business Case for Natural Gas Vehicles

AT&T, which has 70,000 vehicles on the road nationwide, released its 2011 Sustainability Report last week, which had included some really interesting information about the payoffs its move toward alt-fuels have offered. The company reports that it saved 2.5 million gallons of gasoline last year by outfitting many of its vehicles with Compressed Natural Gas tanks.

The telco has been at the forefront of the move toward natural gas for a few years now. Its 10-year plan to replace 15,000 vehicles from its fleet with CNG ones is well under way, with more than 5,000 alternative fuel trucks and vans already on the road — that’s CNG, hybrid, and even a few all-electric vehicles. Part of that greater plan is a five-year, $350 million program to purchase 8,000 CNG vehicles.

AT&T reported to the SmartVan in an earlier release that in 2010, its CNG vehicles helped the company avoid the purchase of over 1 million gallons of traditional petroleum fuel — meaning its efforts last year more than doubled its petrol savings.

Has your company started looking seriously at alt-fuels? Let us know in the comments section.


ABOUT Ian Stewart

Avatar photoIan is a veteran journalist who has covered sports for various news outlets. Previously, he was managing editor for an electronic-book publishing company and a public relations writer.