March 2006

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 corridor.

Ford has produced flexible fuel vehicles for more than a decade, with more than 1.6 million on the road.

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
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.

 


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