The five vehicles, also known as bucket trucks, have batteries to power the engine and to provide the sole power for the mechanical boom that raises a four-sided platform, or ‘bucket’, to enable a technician to work on overhead telephone lines or other equipment.

Heavy-duty chargers that plug into an electrical outlet are used to recharge the hybrid trucks’ batteries. The batteries will be recharged at night, when power demand from the nation’s grid is low.

On an annual basis, each of Verizon’s five plug-in hybrid trucks is expected to use 750 to 1,500 fewer gallons of fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 7 to 14 tons over the traditional models they replace.

The five trucks will be based at the company’s Woodbury garage and primarily serve the northern and central areas of Nassau County.

Verizon is rolling out more than 1,100 alternative energy vehicles across the country this year, and increasing use of biodiesel and flex-fuel (E85) to power 470 vehicles. The company will operate approximately 250 alternative energy vehicles in New York by the end of 2010.

James Gowen, chief sustainability officer of Verizon, said: “Using lower-carbon alternatives to power our fleet and our highly intelligent broadband networks are just some of the ways we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re proud of the fact that as we increase the sustainability of our business we’re also contributing to improved air quality in New York.”