Ford delivers 15,000th Bi-fuel vehicle to U.S. Department of Energy
- 15,000th bi-fuel vehicle delivered to Department of Energy
- Executive Order 13149 requires federal fleets to reduce
petroleum consumption 20 percent by 2005
- High pump prices have more people looking at natural gas and
propane as alternatives
DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2000 -- Ford Motor Company announced a
major milestone in the sale of alternative fuel vehicles today, as
the 15,000th bi-fuel vehicle rolled off the line. The vehicle is a
bi-fuel natural gas F-150 pickup truck and will be delivered to the
Department of Energy.
Thomas J. Gross, U.S. Department of Energy deputy assistant
secretary, accepted delivery of the vehicle from Les Grey, assistant
commissioner, U.S. General Service Administration.
"The Department of Energy and GSA have shown exceptional leadership
in purchasing and using alternative fuel vehicles," said Lee
Oliphant, Ford Government Fleet Sales manager. "It is only
appropriate that the delivery of the 15,000th bi-fuel vehicle is to
the U.S. General Services Administration and the Department of
Since 1996 the GSA, which orders equipment and supplies for a wide
range of U.S. government agencies including the Department of
Energy, has purchased or leased more than 4000 bi-fuel natural gas
or propane vehicles from Ford
The bi-fuel propane (LPG) and natural gas trucks are built at Ford's
Ontario Truck Plant in Oakville, Ontario and then shipped to GFI
Control Systems, Inc. in Cambridge, ON for installation of
alternative fuel tanks and fuel systems.
The use of alternative fuel vehicles by federal agencies is expected
to grow significantly over the next five years. Under a new
Executive Order (E.O. 13149), federal agencies with a fleet of 20
or more vehicles must develop a strategy to lower its annual
petroleum consumption by at least 20 percent by 2005 compared to
1999 fuel consumption.
To achieve reduction in fuel consumption, federal agencies must use
alternative fuels in bi-fuel or flexible-fuel vehicles the majority
of the time, increase the average EPA fuel economy rating of their
light-duty vehicle fleet acquisitions by at least one mpg in 2002
and three mpg by 2005, and improve overall fleet efficiency. As
part of the Executive Order, federal agencies must submit a
compliance plan to the Department of Energy by November, 2000.
Alternative fuel vehicles are receiving another boost this summer in
the form of higher gas prices at the pump. Consumer interest in
alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) has risen as retail gasoline prices
have climbed to record highs. Alternative fuels usually cost less
than gasoline, but that gap has grown significantly in recent months
as gasoline prices have soared.
"Large vehicle fleets are among the first to feel the impact of
rising gas prices. There is a lot of concern from fleet operators
regarding the effect increasing gasoline prices will have on their
businesses," said Oliphant. "Fleet managers who ordered AFVs this
spring are finding that their decision is paying off faster than
expected because, while gasoline prices are rising, the cost of
alternative fuels is holding steady."
Since 1996, sales of dedicated and bi-fuel natural gas vehicles have
grown nearly 25 percent a year. In addition, dealers and retail
consumers have begun showing increasing interest in AFVs over the
last few months.
"Alternative fuel vehicles are a cost-effective, environmentally
responsible mode of transportation, and Ford Motor Company is proud
to provide customers with more alternative fuel options than any
other auto manufacturer," said Oliphant.
In North America, Ford offers 10 models of vehicles that operate on
natural gas, propane, electricity, or E85 (ethanol).
The partnership between Ford and GFI to build bi-fuel natural gas
and propane vehicles began in 1994 with the bi-fuel natural gas
F-150. Over the years, the partnership has expanded to include the
bi-fuel natural gas Ford Contour, the bi-fuel LPG F-150 pickup truck
and the bi-fuel LPG Super Duty F-Series.