Montreal, March 15 — Ford of Canada has taken the
first orders for its electric-powered Ranger, from utility giant
Hydro-Quebec. This makes Ford the first major automaker in the
country to sell EV’s, and Hydro-Quebec, the first company in the
country to own and operate a fleet of environmentally-friendly,
Ford of Canada President Bobbie Gaunt made the announcement
today at a speech at the Canadian Club. She also said that Fortier
Auto, of Ville D’Anjou, has become Ford’s first dealer certified
to sell and service electric vehicles in Canada.
"Our goal is to move electric vehicles out of
the research labs and into our customers’ hands," Gaunt said.
"The Ranger EV is Ford’s first production electric vehicle,
and joins a growing list of choices we already offer Canadians
who want to fill-‘er-up with something cleaner."
Serge Roy, Hydro-Quebec’s project manager for Electric
Transportation, explained, "Electric vehicles offer an attractive
solution for transportation since they are fueled by hydroelectricity,
a clean and renewable energy source. Hydro-Quebec intends to
meet this new customer need by supplying and installing power
control systems (PCS) for Ford of Canada’s customers, thus connecting
Ford Electric Ranger to clean power."
Hydro-Quebec’s first order to Ford of Canada calls
for May delivery of six Ranger EVs, and the utility expects to
place additional orders later this year. Ford was recently named
as the first automaker to become an official supplier to the Project
Montreal 2000 program.
Terry Spyropoulos, Ford of Canada brand manager for
alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), said that Ford of Canada hopes
to sell 15-20 Rangers this year, mainly to fleet customers. Among
the advantages of electric vehicles are zero tailpipe emissions,
reduced maintenance and improved energy efficiency over the gasoline
engine, he said.
The vehicles cost $48,895 to $68,395 each, depending
on their battery, lead-acid (PbA) or the more advanced nickel-metal-hydride
(NiMH). Hydro-Quebec’s units feature the more advanced NiMH battery.
The lead-acid-powered Ranger EV has a "real
world" driving range of approximately
80 kilometres (50 miles) and accelerates from 0-80
kph (0-50 mph) in 12.5 seconds, similar to the gasoline-powered
Ranger. When powered by the nickel-metal-hydride battery, the
truck’s driving range increases to 135 km. (85 miles). Both batteries
are charged from a specially-designed conductive charging system
that is extremely safe, and is the most efficient and cost-effective
method of charging today, Spyropoulos said.
Additional Ford environmental efforts:
- In addition to offering the new electric vehicles
for sale in Canada, Ford offers vehicles that run on natural gas,
ethanol and propane – a wider variety than any other automaker.
- The company has devoted more research dollars
to alternative fuel- and electric-vehicle than any other automaker.
The company expects continued investment of
$1 billion U.S. through 2002.
- Ford has invested $600 million U.S. in a global
alliance with Ballard Fuel Systems of Vancouver to develop fuel-cell
- The company leads in the use of recycled materials
on its cars and trucks.
- It is a leader in the use of lightweight aluminum,
which improves fuel economy.
- And all of its plants in Canada have been certified
to the international environmental standard, ISO 14001.