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NATION'S MOST ADVANCED ELECTRIC VEHICLE BEGINS RIGOROUS ROAD TEST IN CHICAGO

 CHICAGO, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Commonwealth Edison (NYSE: CWE) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today teamed up to begin a test of the nation's most advanced electric vehicle.
 Commonwealth Edison took delivery of an "Ecostar" electric van at a ceremony held at Police Headquarters, 1100 S. State St. The vehicle, which is powered by the world's most advanced battery, will be used by Commonwealth Edison employees on routine work assignments. Another Ecostar will be loaned by Edison to the City of Chicago, for use by the city's police department as a courier vehicle.
 The Ecostar is one of 81 that will be delivered by Ford over the next several months to carefully selected utility and delivery companies across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Mexico. It is part of a program to put advanced electric vehicle technology to the test.
 Other customers taking the first deliveries of Ecostar vans today include five utility and delivery companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Frederick, Md., and Sacramento, Calif. These companies will now begin a carefully documented 30-month evaluation of their Ecostars -- which include new and experimental technology -- in rigorous, real-world circumstances.
 Feedback on the vehicles' quality, reliability and overall acceptability will provide Ford with important information about the Ecostar's technology and, ultimately, marketability.
 "This partnership with Commonwealth Edison is important for us and for the future of electric vehicles," said Helen Petrauskas, Ford's vice president of Environmental Affairs. "It will give us real-world feedback on what customers think about our electric van. And it will give everyone a better understanding of electric-vehicle technology and how it's evolving."
 Petrauskas also said that experience gained from the 30-month fleet evaluation and Ford's electric vehicle development program in general will contribute to the recently announced government/industry "Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles." Electric and hybrid electric vehicles -- incorporating flywheels, fuel cells, ultracapacitors and other "next-generation" technologies -- are expected to be important elements of the national "Super Car" research program.
 "With the Ecostar today and with the cooperative Super Car projects yet to come, we are embarking on a realistic national effort to meet environmental goals more rapidly and more affordably," Petrauskas said.
 Ecostar Technology
 Although a test vehicle, Ecostar has undergone the same rigorous development and production as any dealership-bound Ford car or truck.
 The Ecostar is based on Ford's European Escort van, a small, front- wheel-drive delivery vehicle. It was chosen for this program because of its utility. With its open rear cargo area and 900-pound payload capacity, it is a useful workhorse for commercial customers like Commonwealth Edison.
 "We chose a utility vehicle, not a little car or a runabout, because it is likely that the initial application for an electric vehicle is commercial customers with short, fairly predictable driving patterns, said Petrauskas. "With this fleet evaluation program, we will be able to gather significantly better understanding of an electric vehicle's suitability for this purpose."
 In addition, Ecostar's advanced sodium-sulfur battery delivers a driving range of more than 100 miles between charges -- that's three times the range of any conventional lead-acid battery. Range is an important consideration to Ecostar's initial customers -- like Commonwealth Edison -- whose employees are expected to drive the vehicle regularly.
 Developing battery technology with a reasonable driving range, acceptable cost and long-enough life remains a significant obstacle to making electric vehicles acceptable to buyers.
 "That's why we're so dependent on your help -- as potential customers, policy makers and the general public -- as we work to find ways to make electric vehicles commercially viable," Petrauskas said. "It's up to you and other companies evaluating our next generation of vehicles to help find answers and ensure a realistic future for the environment and for us all."
 Other companies taking delivery of the Ecostar today included: Allegheny Power in Frederick, Md.; Detroit Edison; Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco; Southern California Edison in Los Angeles; and United Parcel Service in Sacramento, Calif.
 FORD ECOSTAR DIMENSIONS AND STATISTICS
 POWERTRAIN
 Motor...........................75 hp (56kW) 3-phase, ac induction
 Transmission.............Single-speed integrated front-wheel drive
 STANDARD FEATURES
 Steering....................................Manual rack and pinion
 Brakes...Power-assisted hydraulic braking and regenerative braking
 Heater.................Electric resistive heating element (4-5 kW)
 Wheels/tires............Lightweight 14" aluminum alloy wheels with
 specifically developed P195/70R14 low rolling resistance tires
 Other.............Solar powered assisted ventilation; high thermal
 efficiency glass; AM/FM stereo cassette radio
 OPTIONS
 A/C..........Electrically driven high-efficiency scroll compressor
 non-fluorocarbon refrigerant
 Heater.......Diesel powered heater (recommended for cold climates)
 BATTERY
 Type.................................................Sodium sulfur
 Energy capacity rating at 80 pct. DOD........................30kWh
 Power ratings.............Peak intermittent 50 kWh (70 hp) maximum
 continuous 30 kW (40 hp)
 Charger.......On board (120/240 V) with 12' charging cord on reel.
 Required 240V at 30 amp ac single phase for maximum charging
 rate.
 PERFORMANCE
 Maximum vehicle weight..................................4,080 lbs.
 Vehicle curb weight.....................................3,100 lbs.
 Maximum payload.....................................900-1,000 lbs.
 Rated top speed (governed)..................................70 mph
 Rated 0-50 mph acceleration time........................12 seconds
 Driving range..........(Federal Urban Driving Schedule) 100 miles;
 (steady state) 200 miles
 -0- 11/16/93
 /CONTACT: Jessica Hatchigan of Ford Motor Company, 313-845-5746; or John Maxson of Commonwealth Edison, 312-394-4361 or 202-736-8555/
 (CWE F)


CO: Commonwealth Edison; Ford Motor Company ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE007 -- 4945 11/16/93 09:41 EST
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Date:Nov 16, 1993
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