Mercury Mariner Hybrid teams up with Wild Oats Markets for Earth Day community education events

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Ford Motor Company’s Mercury brand today announced an alliance with Wild Oats Markets, Inc. to educate consumers about the benefits of driving hybrid vehicles.

The alliance launches this week at Wild Oats Natural Marketplace Earth Day events across the country where the 2006 Mercury Mariner Mercury Mariner Hybrid will be featured and available for consumer test-drives guided by Mercury product specialists providing driving tips to help consumers maximize fuel efficiency.

“Mercury’s alliance with Wild Oats Markets helps us reach consumers who are very interested in environmentally responsible products and getting the maximum benefits from those products,” said Kim Irwin, Mercury Brand Manager. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to tell Wild Oats customers about the Mercury Mariner Hybrid, which is a no-compromise hybrid because it has style, functionality, outstanding fuel economy, and meets the cleanest emission achievable by a fossil-fuel vehicle: California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Standard.”

Mercury’s alliance with Wild Oats Markets, Inc. includes vehicle displays, consumer ride-and-drives, and surprise-and-delight activities at a selected number of the stores’ Earth Day community receptions on April 19 as well as sponsorship of a Wild Oats sweepstakes for a chance to win a 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The alliance also includes a customer gift of a Wild Oats/Mercury sponsored tote bag on Earth Day and featured information about the Mercury Mariner Hybrid on the Wild Oats Web site, in customer e-mails and in the Wild Oats Wild Mail online magazine.

“Wild Oats believes in encouraging consumers to make earth-friendly choices,” said Perry Odak, Wild Oats President and CEO. “Educating our customers about the Mercury Mariner Hybrid and fuel-efficient driving tips is a great fit with our mission of protecting our earth for generations to come.”

Mercury’s fuel-efficient driving tips, which will be demonstrated at the Wild Oats Earth Day receptions, also are available in an online driving game, “Mercury Mariner MyDrive”. “Mercury Mariner MyDrive” is a fun, interactive driving game that features the Mercury Mariner Hybrid in urban and suburban settings and gives consumers three levels of play to discover a variety of eco driving tips such as:

  • Allowing plenty of distance to slow the vehicle to a stop; a unique feature in a hybrid vehicle is the ability to recapture energy during braking, known as regenerative braking; extending the period of deceleration by decreasing the rate in which the vehicle slows down will store more energy in the high voltage battery;
  • Avoiding aggressive driving since quick acceleration and deceleration decreases fuel economy;
  • Driving at a smooth, constant speed as excessive variation in pedal input creates more operating mode changes and subsequently reduces fuel economy;
  • Driving at reasonable speeds (for instance, traveling at 60 mph uses approximately 20 percent less fuel than driving at 70 mph);
  • Storing hybrid vehicles in garages where there is less fluctuation in storage temperature ;
  • Keeping tires properly inflated and using only the recommended size;
  • Keeping wheels properly aligned;
  • Using recommended engine oil;
  • Performing all regularly scheduled maintenance.

The Mercury Mariner Hybrid has received numerous recognitions and awards. It was named the first-ever “2006 Green Car of the Year” by Green Car Journal and received the Sierra Club’s 2005 Excellence in Engineering Award. It was also recognized as a Best Buy by Consumers Digest.

The Mercury Mariner Hybrid is a compact SUV that blends the best features of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The Mercury Mariner Hybrid achieves 80 percent higher city driving efficiency (50 percent higher combined city and highway driving efficiency) and lower emissions with no loss of functionality or performance. With outstanding fuel economy estimated at 33 mpg/city and 29 mpg/highway, it meets the cleanest emission achievable by a fossil-fuel vehicle: California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Standard. In addition, it has extended range well over 400 miles per tank and V-6-like acceleration performance.


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