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News of  May 05, 2000


Ford to begin testing propane-powered Excursion
DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford Motor Company began delivering a propane-powered version of the Ford Excursion to about twenty companies nationwide that will test and evaluate the vehicles for fleet use.

Ford produced a fleet of 24 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Excursions and is placing them in twenty cities around the country for customers to use for a year. The fleet will help Ford test emission-control technology and determine if there is market demand for the vehicle.


Ford Excursion

Photo: Ford

The LPG Excursion is the first propane-powered vehicle to meet California's super ultra low-emission vehicle (SULEV) standard. By pairing the clean-burning characteristics of propane with a Ford-patented advanced catalyst system and innovative engine control strategy, Ford was able to achieve emissions that are at least 62 percent less than what is required by law. Additionally, the LPG Excursion uses a fast warm-up exhaust system to heat the catalyst - significantly reducing the high level of hydrocarbon emissions produced during the first two minutes from a cold start.

"This demonstration fleet will be a great program," said Dave Tarrant, Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Commercial Truck marketing manager, Ford Motor Company. "We hope that each of our demonstration program participants find a unique way to test this vehicle to make sure it meets the needs of all our North American fleet customers."

"For example, the Pike's Peak Highway Ranger Patrol Program in Colorado will be testing three Excursions on the extreme inclines of Pike's Peak. The vehicles will be used for first-response medical assistance and highway traffic patrol," Tarrant added.

Hans D. Schalk, Pike's Peak manager, is extremely excited to be a part of the program and have the opportunity to use the sport utility vehicles for a year.

"We are really looking forward to receiving the Excursions," said Schalk. "Our rangers need vehicles that are reliable and require minimal service but can also handle a large payload. They have to have the ability to carry a lot of gear to assist motorists and hikers, and the vehicles may encounter a variety of weather from hot summer days to blizzard conditions."

Other groups participating in the test program include the Denver area Boy Scouts; Utah LP Gas, Inc. in Salt Lake City; the Department of Public Works in Louisville, Ky.; the National Propane Gas Association in Chicago; and the Port of Portland Aviation Airfield in Portland, Ore.

Equipped with a 6.8-liter V-10 engine, the propane-powered Excursion has the same performance characteristics of the base gasoline model. Two fuel tanks with a capacity of nearly 40 gallons give the vehicle a driving range of about 250 miles between refills.

Since the 1999 model year, all Ford sport utility vehicles and Windstar minivan sold in the U.S and Canada have been low emission vehicles (LEV). Last year, Ford announced that all 2000 model year F-Series pickups and Excursion would also be LEV. In the 2000 model year, Ford will put more than two million LEVs on the road annually in North America - far in advance of any regulatory requirements.

In addition to low emissions, the conventional gasoline-powered Excursion has many other environmentally responsible attributes including a high recyclable content and the use of recycled materials. More than 85 percent of each Excursion by weight can be recycled at the end of its automotive life, and nearly one-fifth of the vehicle is made of recycled materials including steel, aluminum, rubber and plastics.

(May 5, 2000)


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