New Product Announcement

Mar 26, 2004 11:09 ET

Clean, Efficient Ford Escape Hybrid Takes on Manhattan Traffic Jams on Just One Tank of Gas

NEW YORK, March 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- It's been called "the cleanest and most fuel efficient SUV on the planet." But just how far in notorious Manhattan traffic can the upcoming 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid go on a single tank of gas?

Ford will put the innovative new hybrid vehicle to an extreme driving test beginning the morning of April 5 to determine how many miles and how many consecutive hours the Escape Hybrid can cover on one 15-gallon tank of gas.

"We are going to drive up, down and across the island of Manhattan in some of the heaviest traffic possible," said Mary Ann Wright, Ford's chief engineer for the Escape Hybrid.

"Escape Hybrid can provide an economical solution to a problem commuters face every day -- bumper-to-bumper gridlock that can bleed a normal car's fuel tank dry," Wright says. "At the same time, Ford Escape Hybrid is a practical and livable environmental solution to help address air quality problems in our cities, as well as the global warming issue."

Several New York celebrities and journalists will each drive a short leg of the epic "Manhattan On a Tank of Gas" challenge. The drive will start at the Essex House Hotel, 160 Central Park South, in midtown.

Available at the end of this summer, the Ford Escape Hybrid will be the world's first no-compromise hybrid SUV. It combines the fuel economy and emissions benefits of a "full" hybrid-electric system with the go-anywhere capability, toughness and cargo capacity of the Ford Escape, America's best- selling small SUV.

"No other vehicle that can carry five adults along with all their gear could take on this kind of traffic and get very far," Wright says. "Other vehicles might start out with more fuel but they will go through it a lot more quickly."

Escape Hybrid is an extremely clean vehicle to operate, producing 97 percent less hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions than vehicles that meet today's nationwide Tier I emissions standard. That's clean enough to qualify the 2005 Escape Hybrid for the stringent Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards.

Indeed, the Ford Escape Hybrid is as environmentally friendly as a vehicle that runs solely on electric power. That's because a battery-electric vehicle needs to be plugged in to be recharged, and that electricity must be generated by a power plant, creating some smog-forming emissions. The Escape Hybrid, on the other hand, never needs to be plugged in. Its battery is continually recharged by an ingenious system that reclaims energy when the brakes are applied.

Source: Ford Motor Company



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