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CONSUMERS POWER COMPANY LAUNCHES MICHIGAN'S FIRST FLEET OF VEHICLES MANUFACTURED TO USE CLEAN-BURNING NATURAL GAS

 CONSUMERS POWER COMPANY LAUNCHES MICHIGAN'S FIRST FLEET OF VEHICLES
 MANUFACTURED TO USE CLEAN-BURNING NATURAL GAS
 PONTIAC, Mich., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Power Company today launched its fleet of Michigan's first original equipment vehicles manufactured to use clean-burning natural gas.
 The five full-size pickup trucks, manufactured in Michigan by General Motors Corporation's (NYSE: GM) GMC Truck Division in Pontiac, will be used by Consumers Power meter readers and refueled at the utility's Pontiac service center. The three-quarter-ton pickups will also be used in demonstrations for potential fleet users of natural gas vehicles, such as commercial fleets, school districts, taxicab services, transit authorities, state and local government and utility vehicles. GMC Truck is the nation's first original equipment manufacturer to become a major producer of trucks powered by natural gas.
 "Natural gas-fueled vehicles aren't just something for the distant future. They're here now and offer several advantages, including cleaner air for future generations," said Paul A. Elbert, Consumers Power's senior vice president of energy distribution. "With natural gas less expensive than gasoline, proven abundant domestic reserves and the environmental superiority of natural gas as a fuel, there are several incentives to make the switch to natural gas," Elbert said. This is the first time vehicles specifically designed to run on natural gas will be part of Consumers Power's fleet, he added.
 Consumers Power plans to add another eight natural gas vehicles to its fleet by year-end and an additional 15 to 20 natural gas-powered vehicles in 1993. As mandated by the Clean Air Act amendments, cleaner burning fuels must be found as alternatives to gasoline and diesel. The American Gas Association estimates that nearly 2 million natural gas- powered cars and trucks could be on the road by the year 2000.
 At a current retail price of about 65 cents per equivalent gallon of gasoline, natural gas offers a competitive cost advantage. According to the American Gas Association, natural gas vehicles emit 90 percent less carbon monoxide than gasoline. They also reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent, and reactive hydrocarbons by 85 percent in comparison with gasoline combustion emissions. Nitrogen oxide emissions by a natural gas vehicle are comparable to those of new, lower polluting gasoline powered cars. Because it is transported by pipeline instead of road or rail, natural gas does not pose an environmental threat to water or land.
 "The potential for natural gas as a vehicle fuel is immense," Elbert said. "It is a North American fuel that can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. It is safe. Now that American manufacturers, like General Motors' GMC Truck Division, are producing dedicated natural gas vehicles, it is going to make more and more sense for fleet operators to take advantage of the opportunities offered by natural gas."
 Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), is Michigan's largest natural gas and electric utility serving almost 6 million of the state's 9 million residents in 67 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties. It is the nation's seventh- largest gas distribution utility serving 215 cities and villages including suburban Detroit, Bay City, Flint, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac and Saginaw in 40 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Charles E. MacInnis of Consumers Power, 517-788-0333/
 (CMS GM) CO: Consumers Power Company; GMC Truck Division ST: Michigan IN: UTI AUT SU:


ML -- DE002 -- 9599 05/13/92 10:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 13, 1992
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