March 9, 2006

Ford executive calls for renewable fuel support before U.S. Senate committee

Washington, D.C. – Calling on lawmakers to “act with urgency,” Ford vice-president of environmental and safety engineering Sue Cischke told the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that policies are needed to support an aggressive, integrated approach by industry and government to develop renewable fuels and advanced technology vehicles.

“It is clear the solution to America’s energy challenges will need to come from advances in fuels and vehicle technology,” Cischke said. “The fact is, without the whole-hearted involvement of the oil industry, we cannot move forward far enough and fast enough. We obviously need key partners like the oil industry to invest in developing and marketing renewable fuels, like E85 (85 per cent ethanol/15 per cent gasoline).”

At the Washington Auto Show in January, Ford unveiled the Escape Hybrid E85, the first-ever hybrid-ethanol demonstration vehicle. The company has put more than 1.6 million flex-fuel (ethanol-capable) vehicles on the road in the last decade, although only 600 of the 170,000 retail gas stations in the U.S. carry E85. Cischke said expanding the availability of E85 will be critical to moving America toward energy independence. She also reiterated Ford’s commitment to produce 250,000 hybrids by 2010, including offering hybrids on half of all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.

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