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NATION'S FIRST MASS-PRODUCED NATURAL GAS-POWERED TRUCK UNVEILED

    NATION'S FIRST MASS-PRODUCED NATURAL GAS-POWERED TRUCK UNVEILED
      Gas Company To Add First 100 GMC Sierra Pickups To Its Fleet
    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's first mass- produced pickup truck designed to run solely on natural gas was unveiled today at a special showing for Southern California fleet operators and GMC Truck dealers.
    The 1992 GMC Sierra 3/4-ton pickup truck represents the first natural gas vehicle (NGV) ever designed, built and warranted by a major U.S. automaker.
    The "road show," sponsored by The Gas Company and GMC Truck, a division of General Motors Corp., offered fleet operators, GMC Truck dealers and interested news media an opportunity to test drive the vehicle and hear from experts on natural gas vehicle sales and service.
    Vehicles powered by clean-burning natural gas produce as much as 90 percent fewer emissions than conventional gasoline-burning trucks.
    As part of its commitment to help clean the air in Southern California, The Gas Company will add to its service fleet 100 of the first 2,000 production model GMC Trucks in April 1992, when the vehicles are expected to be available through GMC Truck dealers.
    "These trucks represent a successful first step in a cooperative effort by GMC Truck and gas utilities in California, Colorado and Texas to make a new in-road into improving our environment," Jack Smith, The Gas Company's NGV marketing manager, said.
    "The new natural gas-powered Sierra trucks are part of a gas company goal of making natural gas vehicles a major component of the transportation mix in southern California by the year 2000," he added.
    "We've looked at the whole spectrum of alternative fuels for efficient, reliable, durable vehicles for tomorrow," said Lewis B. Campbell, GM vice president and general manager of GMC Truck.  "We're 100 percent convinced that natural gas is one of the best alternatives for GMC Trucks from the standpoint of cleanliness, safety, availability, efficiency and economy."
    Campbell said, initially, the natural gas-powered GMC Trucks are being targeted to fleet customers with natural gas refueling facilities.
    In June, The Gas Company announced the nation's largest program to help commercialize natural gas vehicles.  If approved by state regulators, the program would create a network of 51 natural gas fueling stations by the end of 1993.  The utility is also working with Unocal to open in December the first public fueling station in the greater Los Angeles area.
    "We envision 80,000 natural gas vehicles on the road in this region, supported by a network of 1,300 fueling stations, by the end of the century," said Smith.
    "Natural gas is domestically produced and abundantly available at stable prices," Smith said.  "As such, natural gas will make a significant contribution toward solving two of our country's most pressing problems; improving air quality and reducing our reliance on foreign energy sources and associated unstable prices."
    -0-                    11/13/91 R
    /CONTACT: Denise King or Michelle Bagley of Southern California Gas, 213-244-3030/ CO:  Southern California Gas ST:  California IN:  OIL SU: AL -- LA015 -- 4042 11/13/91 14:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 13, 1991
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