Canadian telecommunications company TELUS is introducing 10 Prius hybrids to its fleet in a pilot project intended to determine the cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of the vehicles. The 10 hybrids will replace conventional sedans in several of TELUS’ major markets—two each in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto.
The hybrids will be used by employees who drive a great deal in heavy city traffic during an average week, such as customer service managers and maintenance supervisors.
While the Prius' cost significantly more than the sedans they are replacing, we expect a substantial reduction in fuel costs and maintenance expenses. That does not include the environmental cost savings such as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, which we expect to be significant.
Fuel economy of standard vehicles is at its lowest during urban driving and air quality is the greatest concern in cities, so that is where we are focusing this pilot project. If our trial goes as expected, I anticipate we will also start integrating hybrid vans and trucks into the fleet once they become available and can be modified to fit TELUS’ applications.—Joe Grech, TELUS executive vice-president, Technology and Operations
TELUS has a fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles across Canada, 3,500 of them light duty cars, trucks, and vans while the remaining are heavy trucks and machinery. The fleet was driven a total of 73.4 million kilometers (45.6 million miles) last year, using more than 14 million liters (3.7 million US gallons) of fuel.