Ford to create new Midwest ethanol corridor
Chicago, IL— Ford Motor
Company is teaming up with energy partners, the public, city and
state governments, and private companies to expand hybrids and
vehicles capable of running on E85 ethanol.
Ford will launch the beginnings
of a “Midwest Ethanol Corridor” – expanding
E85 ethanol fuel availability by about one-third throughout the
states of Illinois and Missouri this year through the company’s
ongoing partnership with VeraSun Energy, a renewable energy company.
Actions to increase the availability of ethanol in neighboring
states are planned, as well.
Ford also announced that it is
working with the city of Chicago to put hybrid vehicles into service
as taxi cabs beginning in 2007, as part of a plan being considered
today by the Chicago City Council. Ford is loaning the city an
Escape Hybrid to serve as a training and education tool with taxi
fleets and the public. The Ford Escape Hybrid will help taxi companies
reduce fuel expenses while helping to improve the air quality
in the city.
Midwest Ethanol Corridor
The first phase in the creation of the Midwest ethanol
corridor is to convert approximately 40 existing gasoline fuel
pumps in Illinois and Missouri to E85. The move will increase
availability by approximately one-third this year. Ford estimates
there are 50,000 owners of Ford flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) in
Illinois and 28,000 in Missouri. Ford will work with fuel providers
and officials in other states to further develop the Midwest ethanol
Ford has produced flexible fuel
vehicles for more than a decade, with more than 1.6 million on
With the introduction of four
new 2006 models that have the E85 option – including the
Ford F-150 pickup, Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis
and Lincoln Town Car – the company will produce up to 250,000
ethanol-capable vehicles in 2006.
Hybrid Taxis Coming to
Chicago taxi drivers and their customers will soon come
to appreciate the efficient beauty of the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Ford’s work with the city of Chicago will pave the way to
hybrid taxi vehicles in the future.
Ford Escape Hybrid taxis are
already in service in New York City and San Francisco. The hybrid
taxis contribute to improved air quality and provide substantial
gas savings for the taxi companies.
As a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle
(PZEV), Ford Escape Hybrid operates with ultra-clean emissions.
The vehicle’s fuel economy in stop-and-go city driving also
is 80 percent higher than a conventional Escape. In fact, the
two-wheel-drive version of the hybrid SUV achieves 36 miles per
gallon in city driving and up to 500 miles or more on a single
tank of gas – even in gridlock traffic jams.
Many Ford hybrid taxis in San
Francisco now have more than 100,000 miles. Some drivers say they’re
saving $50 to $75 per week by driving an Escape Hybrid. In New
York, Taxi and Limousine Commission officials are estimating the
annual fuel savings for each driver will amount to tens of thousands
of dollars every year.
Ford Motor Company is expanding
its future commitment to hybrids – with plans to build 250,000
hybrid vehicles a year by 2010 and half of the Ford, Mercury and
Lincoln lineup available as hybrids. Ford plans to introduce several
new hybrids in the coming years, including a Mazda Tribute Hybrid.
Hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan midsize sedans
will arrive in 2008.
The company recently said it
will offer hybrid versions of the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury
Montego full-size sedans, and the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers
by the end of the decade.