DRIVE CLEAN CALIFORNIA CAMPAIGN SIGNALS MASS COMMERCIALIZATION OF CLEAN FUEL VEHICLES IN STATE
DRIVE CLEAN CALIFORNIA CAMPAIGN SIGNALS
MASS COMMERCIALIZATION OF CLEAN FUEL VEHICLES IN STATE
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- As the first step of Governor Pete Wilson's 1991 California Energy Plan announced last week, corporate executives and government officials today launched the statewide Drive Clean California campaign, which places nearly 5,000 clean, alternative fuel vehicles for sale in the state's automotive marketplace.
The unprecedented campaign begins with the introduction of 4,700 GM and Ford clean fuel vehicles -- straight off the assemblyline -- that run on methanol or gasoline or any combination of the two in the same fuel tank. The vehicles can be purchased by public and private fleets, and the general public as well.
General Motors Corporation has committed 2,000 "variable fuel" Chevrolet Luminas and Ford has pledged to produce 200 "fuel flexible" Econoline vans to the campaign for early 1992 delivery. Another 2,500 Ford Tauruses will be available after October 1992. These vehicles produce 30 to 50 percent less smog-forming emissions than their gasoline counterparts.
The Drive Clean California campaign will eventually include placing other vehicles powered by methanol, compressed natural gas, and electricity in the state's commercial marketplace to aid California's quest for cleaner air and energy security.
Ensuring that clean, alternative fuel vehicles are a mainstay in California is a major thrust of the new state Energy Plan. In the Governor's statement on the plan, he stressed that "along with improved efficiency, the introduction of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles must remain an essential element of our state's energy policy. In concert with improved vehicle efficiency, these new fuels offer a means of further reducing our dependency on oil and its commensurate economic and environmental uncertainties."
Last week Governor Wilson wrote to more than 6,000 California businesses and government leaders urging them to purchase the new methanol-fueled vehicles for their fleets, noting that financial incentives are available for parties buying the vehicles.
"California consumes over one billion gallons of gasoline every month, which impacts air quality and the economy," commented Energy Commission Chairman Charles R. Imbrecht. "With the dubious distinction of being third in the world in gasoline consumption behind the United States and the Soviet Union, we have an opportunity and responsibility to take an aggressive leadership position by encouraging public and private fleets and individuals to purchase methanol flexible fuel vehicles and other clean, alternative fuel vehicles. The technology is here today; the fueling network is in place: today is the right time to make the right choice."
In an effort to meet stringent air quality mandates of California's Clean Air Act and state air quality districts, more and more businesses have been looking toward clean fuel vehicles. For example, South Coast Air Quality Management District's rideshare program, Regulation XV, provides credits to Southern California employers for purchasing clean fuel vehicles in order to comply with the District's rideshare plan.
"Cars are responsible for two-thirds of the pollution we breathe every day in the South Coast Basin," said AQMD Executive Officer James Lents. "In order to reach federal air quality health standards, we need to reduce vehicle emissions by 80 percent. Alternative fuel vehicles are a critical element in our clean air plan, and we are very excited to see them put into the commercial marketplace."
Cost-sharing agreements for the cars available through the Drive Clean California campaign are also being offered by the California Energy Commission and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District for the incremental cost of purchasing clean fuel vehicles. Many purchases by individual car buyers may qualify for tax credits as well.
"At Chevrolet and General Motors, we're proud of our leadership role in this program," noted Jim Perkins, General Motors Vice President and General Manager of Chevrolet Motors Division. "Chevrolet and GM have once again responded to the challenges of the environment and energy security."
California's pioneering alternative transportation fuels program is already testing several thousand cars, trucks, and buses in demonstration programs co-sponsored by nine leading auto makers, seven major oil companies, the state's largest utilities, government agencies, and dozens of other companies and organizations.
The campaign is being sponsored by the California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District, in association with General Motors and Ford.
/CONTACT: Claudia Barker of California Energy Commission, 916- 654-4989; Bill Ott of General Motors Corp., 213-277-2511/ CO: California Energy Commission, General Motors Corp. ST: California IN: OIL AUT SU: JL -- SF003 -- 0774 11/04/91 13:30 EST