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PIEDMONT GIVES NATURAL GAS TRUCK TO CHARLOTTE; ANNOUNCES UPCOMING DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

 PIEDMONT GIVES NATURAL GAS TRUCK TO CHARLOTTE;
 ANNOUNCES UPCOMING DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- At a first-ever Carolinas' Natural Gas Vehicle Show held today at the Charlotte Coliseum, Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) Chairman and President John H. Maxheim gave the keys to a new GMC Sierra pickup truck manufactured to run solely on natural gas to Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Ann Hammond. Piedmont is contributing this vehicle for use in city operations for one year to assist them in assessing the long-term application of natural gas vehicles for their fleet," said Maxheim.
 In thanking Maxheim, Hammond commented that the city government was " ... concerned about the city's air quality and its federal government non-attainment status for ozone." Charlotte just missed being included in the list of cities mandated to switch to alternative-fueled vehicles by the Federal Clean Air Act.
 "We are excited about the opportunity to try natural gas vehicles for their application to our long-term fleet needs," said Hammond. "Natural gas vehicles have greatly reduced emissions, natural gas costs less than other fuels and reduced maintenance costs should result. Natural gas vehicles make sense at a time when worsening air quality increasingly affects the quality of life of all Charlotteans. Thanks to Piedmont for helping Charlotte take the lead and set a positive example for other municipalities and corporations throughout North Carolina." After test driving the truck, Hammond commented that it drove " ... just like any other pickup truck, but without any dirty exhaust."
 Piedmont Natural Gas is the first to establish natural gas refueling facilities at three of its operations centers in the Carolinas and Tennessee. The company also operates the largest fleet of natural gas vehicles in the Carolinas and Tennessee, the three states in which it operates. It now operates thirty-one natural gas vehicles in Charlotte and sixty-six in Nashville. By the end of 1993, the company plans to have added another sixty-five vehicles in Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C., and in Greenville, S.C.
 The company is also involved in the first public/private natural gas projects in the Carolinas and Tennessee; Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools began operating six natural gas school buses in August 1992 and the Nashville Postal Service now operates thirty-two natural gas vehicles. Piedmont Natural Gas Company and its Nashville Gas Company division were instrumental in the initiation of both projects. In 1991, both North and South Carolina passed legislation requiring comprehensive studies of alternative fuels and recommendations regarding clean-fuels strategies to be implemented by both states.
 Maxheim stated that Piedmont is also involved in two new natural gas vehicle projects with the North Carolina Motor Fleet Management Division and the South Carolina Division of Energy. The specifics of both projects are to be announced in mind-October jointly with those divisions.
 "Natural gas technology is not new," commented Maxheim. "It is here and working. We hope today will verify here in the Carolinas what governments and businesses across the country are learning -- that natural gas vehicles are clean, efficient and save operating dollars."
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Stephen D. Conner, Piedmont Natural Gas Company, 704-364-3486 ext. 205 or (home) 704-364-0526/
 (PNY) CO: Piedmont Natural Gas Company ST: North Carolina IN: UTI SU: PDT


CM -- CH006 -- 9559 09/15/92 11:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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