Ford is undertaking an 8-city, cross-country tour to promote hybrid technology. The tour starts today in Chicago, where Ford officials will present the city with a Ford Escape
Hybrid taxi for demonstration and evaluation. The goal of such evaluations by high-profile city taxi fleets – and grueling taxi duty – is to create awareness of Ford’s hybrid leadership, and underscore the durability of the technology.
“The Escape Hybrid taxi program is an exciting collaboration between car makers, policy makers and fuel providers,” says Nancy Gioia, director, Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle Programs. “It’s this type of collaboration that will help us meet our goal of reducing oil consumption, reducing smog and improving fuel economy.”
Currently, there are approximately 40 Escape Hybrid taxis in San Francisco, some with more than 125,000 miles on the odometer. There are another 22 Escape Hybrids in New York City, with almost 50,000 miles logged on the streets of Manhattan. The fleets have been such a success that additional Escape Hybrid taxis are on order in both cities.
EPA rated at 36 miles per gallon in city driving, the front-wheel drive Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV on earth, and can provide drivers 500 miles to a tank.
According to San Francisco cab driver Paul Gillespie, driving an Escape Hybrid saves him up to $30 per shift. Working four shifts a week for a year could equal more than $6,000.
“The fuel economy of the Escape Hybrid puts thousands of dollars back in drivers’ pockets, and helps decrease emissions,” says Gillespie. Gillespie has been driving an Escape Hybrid since November 2004. His cab has traveled 125,000 miles, without any major mechanical repairs.
The reliability of Gillespie’s vehicle is the rule, rather than the exception. For taxi owners, the Escape Hybrid is proving to be remarkably durable, capable of surviving around-the-clock use in one of the most severe driving conditions any vehicle will face. This durability is backed by a standard 8-year / 100,000-mile limited warranty for unique hybrid components, including the battery pack.
For city officials, Escape Hybrid taxis are helping meet clean-air targets. Over 100,000 miles the Escape Hybrid will conserve approximately 1,666 gallons of gas over a traditional cab, effectively preventing 32,000 pounds of carbon emissions.
In addition, the Escape Hybrid dramatically reduces smog-forming emissions, as it meets the cleanest emissions standard available for a vehicle that uses fossil fuels – California’s AT-PZEV standard.
“The Escape Hybrid taxi fleet is an extreme but real-world testament to the economic advantages, environmental benefits and reliability of Ford’s hybrid technology,” says Gioia. “We’re taking the Escape Hybrid taxi presentation to other progressive cities across the country to help increase awareness of the benefits the Escape Hybrid has to offer cities, taxi drivers and consumers.”
Ford Motor Company remains committed to creating a better world as a key element in our strategy for the future. Last fall, Ford Motor Company chairman and CEO, Bill Ford laid out his blueprint for the company’s future – focusing every aspect of the business on innovation as its core strategy going forward.
His vision is to offer transportation that is affordable in every sense of the word – socially and environmentally, as well as economically.
To realize that vision, Ford continues to invest in hybrid technology. And in 2008, Ford will have five hybrids on the road, including hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan mid-size sedans. Ford has also announced hybrid versions of the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego, which are build here in Chicago.
Ford also continues to research and develop hydrogen vehicles, including hydrogen internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel-cells in Ford Focus and Explorers and is working with strategic partners, such as BP, on research into alternative fuels such as clean diesels, ethanol and hydrogen. Our BP partnership also extends to consumer education initiatives, including their support on the Escape Hybrid evaluation tour.