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PITTSBURGH GAS UTILITIES INTRODUCE CLEAN-BURNING GM NATURAL GAS-POWERED TRUCKS TO AREA FLEET MANAGERS

 PITTSBURGH GAS UTILITIES INTRODUCE CLEAN-BURNING
 GM NATURAL GAS-POWERED TRUCKS TO AREA FLEET MANAGERS
 PITTSBURGH, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The GMC Truck Division of General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) today introduced to the Pittsburgh area its new line of Sierra pickup trucks built to run exclusively on natural gas.
 During the introduction at Three Rivers Stadium, approximately 300 tri-state vehicle fleet managers drove Sierra trucks powered by the fuel of the future -- natural gas.
 "Natural gas-powered vehicles, or NGV's perform at least as well as comparable gasoline-powered vehicles," said Cecily Franklin, manager of NGV market development for Consolidated Natural Gas Company (CNG). "But because they use cleaner-burning natural gas, NGVs greatly reduce smog-forming hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
 "GMC Truck is the first original equipment manufacturer to become a major producer of trucks powered by natural gas. Today's introduction to area fleet managers represents a major step in phasing in natural gas as a vehicular fuel," said Franklin.
 "To date, GMC Truck has built and sold more than 2,000 Sierra NGVs to utilities and private fleets across the nation. We're committed to producing as many NGVs as the market demands," said Lewis B. Campbell, vice president and general manager of GMC Truck.
 The three area gas utilities -- Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Equitable Gas Company and The Peoples Natural Gas Company (a CNG subsidiary) -- sponsored the natural gas-powered truck introduction.
 At the introduction, fleet managers from companies, school districts and other large-scale users learned in detail the benefits of the full-size Sierra pickup trucks and other NGVs.
 "Besides putting fewer emissions into the environment, NGVs also cost less to run than gasoline-powered vehicles," according to Franklin. "The natural gas equivalent of a gallon of gasoline today costs from 30 to 40 cents less than a gallon of gasoline. Moreover, vehicles running on natural gas require fewer tune-ups, and their engines and engine parts last much longer."
 The event also featured a variety of other natural gas-powered vehicles, including transit and school buses, trucks, vans, cars, City of Pittsburgh vehicles and a fork lift. Also on hand was The Natural Gasser, ranked No. 1 in a major National Hot Rod Association division and the only competitive natural gas-powered race car in the United States.
 In conjunction with the Sierra NGV truck introduction, Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff today introduced new City alternative fuel initiatives. The city intends to enter a partnership with Equitable Gas Company to build a state-of-the-art refueling station in the Strip District which will include natural gas. The city also plans to double, to 35, the number of city vehicles running on natural gas.
 About the GMC Sierra NGV Truck
 The GMC Truck Sierra NGV is a 3/4-ton pickup with a gross vehicle weight of 7,200 pounds. The engine is a heavy-duty 5.7 liter V8 calibrated to operate only on natural gas.
 From the outside, the Sierra NGV is virtually identical to gasoline-powered trucks. Three aluminum-lined composite natural gas cylinders are mounted under the standard 8-foot pickup bed. The refueling nozzle is located exactly where the fuel filler pipe would be on a gasoline-powered truck.
 GMC Truck estimates the Sierra NGV to have 175 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 270 foot-pounds of torque, a performance similar to a 5.0 liter gasoline engine. It has a payload of approximately 3,000 pounds and a targeted driving range of about 200 miles between refueling. GMC Truck reports a fuel economy of between 15-19 miles per equivalent gallons of gasoline.
 -0- 7/1/92
 /CONTACT: Rosemary Martinelli of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, 412-344-9800; Mike Stack of Equitable Gas Company, 412-553-5808; or Elmore Lockley of The Peoples Natural Gas Company, 412-497-6742/
 (GM) CO: General Motors Corporation; Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania;
 Equitable Gas Company; The Peoples Natural Gas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:


CD-JT -- PG011 -- 5697 07/01/92 12:22 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1992
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