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GSA Takes Delivery of Ford's 15,000th Bi-Fuel Natural Gas Vehicle

GSA #9706

June 29, 2000
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov

Washington, DC - Earlier this week, the U.S. General Services Administration took delivery of Ford Motor Company's 15,000th bi-fuel natural gas vehicle.

After driving it off the assembly line, GSA's Assistant Commissioner of Office of Vehicle Acquisition and Leasing Services Les Gray handed over the keys to Thomas J. Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Transportation Technologies. The bi-fuel natural gas F-150 pickup truck will be assigned to a Department of Energy research facility in New Mexico. The truck was built at Ford's Ontario Truck Plant in Oakville, Ontario and then shipped to GFI Control Systems, Inc. in Cambridge, Ontario for installation of alternative fuel tanks and fuel systems.

"Through our environmental program, called Planet GSA," said Gray, "we are committed to helping our customers buy, build, save, and drive green. The vehicles being produced by Ford and GFI are being used to support many of the most important missions of the federal government, and are helping our country meet its air quality and energy security goals."

In partnership, GSA and DOE developed the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Utilization Supporting Expansion of Refueling (AFV USER) program. This interagency program concentrates Federal AFV acquisitions in six cities (Albuquerque NM, Denver CO, Melbourne-Titusville FL, Minneapolis MN, Salt Lake City UT, and San Francisco CA). Concentrating AFV acquisitions is helping to build a market base for alternative fuel infrastructure and will help agencies meet the alternative fuel use requirements of E.O. 13149. GSA has committed up to $4 million in matching funds for its Federal customer agencies in the program areas to help pay down the incremental cost of AFVs, which average $4,500 more than conventionally-fueled vehicles.

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 are required to lower their annual petroleum consumption by at least 20 percent by 2005. The new Executive Order is one of several requirements designed to improve our nation's air quality through the use of low emission vehicles and reduce our dependence on foreign petroleum by using domestic energy sources such as natural gas.

Since 1991, GSA has purchased over 36,000 AFVs for its federal customers, including ethanol, methanol, natural gas, propane and electric vehicles. GSA also offers a variety of environmental services designed to make it easy for Federal fleets to acquire and operate AFVs, and is partnering with DOE on many initiatives to increase alternative fuel vehicle and fuel use in the Federal fleet.