Verizon will soon begin using 13 specially designed service vans with hybrid-engine systems, the company announced last week. Because no domestic motor vehicle manufacturer currently makes hybrid vehicles in the van category, Verizon worked closely with hybrid-electric pioneer Enova Systems, Inc., located in Torrance, Calif., to retrofit the new vehicles to Verizon’s specifications. The vans, which have FiOS and green-energy markings on them, will serve some of Verizon FiOS Internet and TV customers in the D.C. metro area and in Texas, were unveiled at a news conference today at the company’s Hyattsville work center. They are being put into service over the next several weeks. The vans’ gasoline- and electricity-powered engines could improve gas mileage by up to 50 percent over traditional internal-combustion engines, and have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent to 90 percent, the company says. Verizon is the first major company to retrofit service vehicles in the van class with hybrid-power technology. “As an operator of one of the largest private motor vehicle fleets in the U.S., we hope to send a message to automotive manufacturers that they need to make hybrid vehicles in all classes,” said Kathy Brown, senior vice president of public policy development and corporate responsibility for Verizon. “There is a market here, especially for companies like Verizon that seek to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.”