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 PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia Electric Company (NYSE: PE) (PECO) said, as part of its commitment to natural gas vehicles, it will operate at least 10 NGV refueling stations by the end of 1995 and expand its vehicle fleet by 100 or more NGVs each year beginning in 1994.
 The announcement was made by PECO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph F. Paquette Jr. at the "Clean Across America" stop in Philadelphia. Clean Across America is a national 22-city tour to showcase the availability of NGVs factory-built by U.S. automakers, NGV technology, and the rapid growth of the national fueling infrastructure.
 Paquette said natural gas will become "the alternative fuel of choice" for those government and business fleet operators planning to meet mandates set by the Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy Act.
 Paquette said, "Our choice is based upon eight years of experience with NGVs, as well as the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas."
 Under the federal mandates for alternative-fueled vehicles, PECO will become a primary provider of transportation fuel. Paquette said PECO is playing a major role in the development of the emerging NGV market.
 Natural gas, he said, is a domestic fuel that is less expensive than gasoline and cleaner-burning. NGVs can contribute to improved air quality and offset the rising import of foreign oil for transportation.
 Among the company's activities include: the establishment of a training program for NGV mechanics through Delaware County Community College, the development of a standardized conversion and inspection program with AAA, a high school NGV training program with Chester County Intermediate Unit, and educational/marketing programs with fleet operators in the area.
 "Along with our local, state and federal governments, PECO will be among the leaders in promoting and using alternative fueled vehicles," he said.
 PECO currently uses 85 natural gas powered vehicles, some of which are dedicated NGVs and others are bi-fuel vehicles, which operate on either natural gas or gasoline. PECO's fleet includes passenger cars, vans, light trucks, and utility vehicles. The company will increase the NGV fleet by at least 100 a year, beginning in 1994. By the year 2000, PECO expects roughly 40 percent of its vehicle fleet will be powered by natural gas.
 PECO, which supplies natural gas in the four-county Philadelphia suburbs, has refueling stations in Warminster, Plymouth, and Berwyn. Additional stations are under construction currently in Coatesville and Ardmore. PECO plans to expand the Berwyn station and build another new facility in Phoenixville by the end of the year. In 1994, plans call for fueling stations in Eddystone and Morton boroughs, Delaware County, and Limerick and North Wales, Montgomery County.
 Across the U.S., there are more than 50,000 NGVs in use fueled at more than 700 private and public stations.
 The federal mandates for alternative fuel vehicles begin in 1996 for government and fuel provider fleets and, in 1998, for business with 10 or more centrally fueled vehicles.
 The Clean Across America tour is organized by MESA Inc., headed by Texas oilman and entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens; the NGV Coalition, and Columbia Gas Company, in conjunction with Ford, GMC, and Chrysler.
 -0- 10/13/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Wood of Philadelphia Electric, 215-841-5555/

CO: Philadelphia Electric Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:

MK -- PH005 -- 1504 10/13/93 08:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993

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