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 BALTIMORE, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chesapeake Consortium announced today that it has delivered three new electric Chrysler minivans.
 Two of the vehicles will be assigned to the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: BGE), while the other will be used by the State of Maryland.
 These are the first of a total of 10 electric minivans the Consortium will receive over the next three months. BG&E will receive a total of four, three will go to the State of Maryland, and the other three will be jointly shared by Chrysler Corporation and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
 "Electric vehicle technologies provide an opportunity to enhance economic development, improve air quality and decrease dependency on foreign energy," said Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer. "I believe that the state's participation in this public/private partnership will help Maryland companies get in on the ground floor of this exciting new technology."
 State agencies involved with the consortium are the Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland departments of Transportation, Economic and Employment Development, and Environment. The State is focused on public policy assessment, macroeconomic impact analysis and economic development initiatives.
 The Chesapeake Consortium was founded in May 1992 by BG&E, Chrysler, the State of Maryland and Westinghouse to coordinate research, resources and technology related to the development of electric vehicles and advanced transportation systems. It received a $4 million grant last September from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, consortium members are investing $5.5 million of matching funds in DOT's Electric Vehicle Program.
 All four consortium members are playing key roles in developing and evaluating the market for electric vehicles. Westinghouse developed, and will continue to refine, the power trains that Chrysler is assembling into its vehicles. BG&E is testing the vans under fleet use and is focusing on market research to evaluate the acceptance of electric vehicles by both individuals and fleet owners. The State of Maryland is working to provide incentives to Maryland suppliers and manufacturers to enhance development and production of electric vehicles, and is also evaluating their performance.
 "The Chesapeake Consortium is very proud of the technical accomplishments of its members, but even prouder of the working relationships and true personal commitments that have consolidated a leadership position in electric propulsion," said Kelly Overman, Chesapeake Consortium Chairman and general manager of the Westinghouse Systems Development and Engineering Division.
 BG&E's vans will become part of BG&E's regular customer service fleet, where they will be evaluated on the streets, roads and highways of the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Maryland Energy Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation plan to use its vehicles for several purposes including shuttle service applications. The other three consortium vehicles will be used jointly by Chrysler and Westinghouse for performance and reliability testing.
 "The consortium will create the foundation and develop the infrastructure on which an electric vehicle market can grow," said Ed Skoglin, BG&E's manager of Marketing & Energy Services. "Our research will help us better understand the market and allow us to educate consumers about electric vehicles. We will be testing recharging facilities and will determine the impact of electric vehicles on the electric utility industry."
 -0- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Art Slusark of BG&E, 410-234-7433, or Chris Preuss of Chrysler, 313-576-8095, or Ed Mason of the State of Maryland, 410-974-3751, or Ann Grizzel of Westinghouse, 410-765-6812/

CO: Chesapeake Consortium; Baltimore Gas and Electric Company;
 Chrysler; Westinghouse ST: Maryland IN: AUT UTI SU:

MK -- PH011 -- 0224 08/06/93 09:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993

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