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FORD DELIVERS NATURAL GAS F700 TRUCKS TO KEEBLER

 LA MIRADA, Calif., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In its continuing effort to improve ambient air quality in Southern California, the Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today delivered two natural gas powered F700 medium- duty trucks to the Keebler Company. The trucks will be used in daily delivery service and will be refueled at facilities provided by Southern California Gas (SoCalGas).
 The two F700 trucks are the first of 17 similar trucks which will be put into demonstration service throughout the United States. The Keebler trucks are unique, however, in that they are the only units which will be used in rigorous commercial daily delivery service. The remaining 15 trucks will be evaluated by gas utility companies.
 "With Keebler using these trucks in daily delivery service, we're taking another important step toward making natural gas a mainstream transportation fuel," said Peter Hubbard, supervisor of Heavy Truck Powertrain Development for Ford Motor Company. "We intend to prove that Ford's natural gas vehicle technology can meet and exceed our customers' most demanding expectations."
 Natural gas, used to heat millions of homes in the United States, enjoys several advantages over gasoline: it burns cleaner than gasoline thus reducing environmentally harmful emissions; it is abundant domestically which can help reduce America's dependence on foreign petroleum; and it is currently less expensive than gasoline.
 In accepting the keys to the F700 trucks, Ed Flanagan, Keebler's La Mirada Distribution Center manager, said, "We are excited that Keebler now has the first two commercial natural gas F700 trucks produced by the Ford Motor Company. We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and see this move as a positive step to comply with the Clean Air Act and contribute to cleaner air in Southern California.
 "The trucks are appropriate for our business and will be used in the regular fleet to deliver cookies, crackers and salty snacks to Keebler customers throughout the Los Angeles area," added Flanagan.
 Keebler's two F700 trucks will refuel at natural gas refueling stations built by SoCalGas.
 In its effort to establish Southern California as the world's leader in the development and use of natural gas vehicles, SoCalGas is opening one new station every 10 days for the next four years.
 "While the concept of natural gas refueling stations may seem to be a novelty to the public now, we envision the day when the natural gas fueling facility is as commonplace as the corner gasoline station. In fact, we may be able to go one better than gasoline by making it possible for people to refuel their vehicles at home," said Mike Marelli, regional sales manager for SoCalGas.
 SoCalGas is the nation's largest natural gas distribution company with over 4.6 million customers.
 During more than 30 years of extensive research, Ford Motor Company has established itself as a leader in the development of vehicles designed to reduce air pollution as well as the nation's dependence on foreign petroleum through the use of alternative fuels.
 Next month, Ford will begin delivering more than 2,500 1993 Taurus Flexible Fuel Vehicles which can run on methanol (M85), unleaded gasoline or any combination of the two fuels. In addition, Ford placed more than 40 natural gas powered Crown Victorias with gas utility fleets last year for a three-year evaluation. This demonstration could lead to the first U.S. production of passenger cars designed for operation solely on natural gas. Ford also is the only American manufacturer to offer a factory warranted production medium duty truck that operates on liquefied petroleum gas (propane). Later this year, Ford will place nearly 100 Ecostar electric vans with utility companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe for real-world testing of electric vehicle technology.
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: Ross H. Ruehle of Campbell & Company, 313-336-9655, for Ford Motor Company; Stuart Greenblatt of Keebler Company, 708-782-2536; or Denise King of Southern California Gas Co., 213-244-2548/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company; Keebler Company; Southern California Gas Co. ST: Michigan, California IN: AUT SU: PDT

DH -- DE032 -- 3164 04/05/93 16:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 5, 1993
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