-- Ford's all-new 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid to be official patrol vehicle on tour.
Ford's stop in Cleveland is the kickoff of a 10-city cross-country "Hybrid Patrol" tour. Each stop will begin with educating police officers with a fuel- economy clinic and end by testing their skills with a best-mileage competition among the officers. The Ford Hybrid Patrol tour, supported by BP, will also roll into Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami.
The Cleveland Police Department and Ford will also patrol Cleveland streets in the Mariner Hybrid and surprise local drivers "caught in the act" of demonstrating good gas-saving practices with free BP gas cards worth $25 each. Drivers will also be given additional fuel-saving driving tips for efficient driving practices.
"We chose police departments to raise fuel-economy awareness because of the thousands of gallons of gasoline patrol cars use every year in stop-and-go driving," says Mary Ann Wright, director of Ford's Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Programs. "With the Ford Escape Hybrid completing its first year in the market and new Mercury Mariner Hybrid arriving this fall, we're anxious to help consumers improve fuel economy too."
Consumer and governmental interest in hybrids has skyrocketed with the dramatic rise of gasoline prices. Fourteen percent of Americans surveyed the week of Sept. 16-25 said they will consider vehicles with hybrid power plants, according to AutoPacific, and new federal tax incentives for hybrid purchases will begin on Jan. 1.
In 2004, the Cleveland Police Department purchased approximately 585,000 gallons of gas. While the department purchases its fuel supply in bulk, based on Cleveland's current average price of regular unleaded gasoline, $2.65 a gallon, by using fuel economy tips, the department could possibly reduce its fuel budget by $155,025.
In Ohio, State Senator Mark Mallory (D-Cincinnati) sponsored the "Ohio Hybrid Car and Clean Fuels Day" last spring at the Statehouse in Columbus to bring attention to the use of fuel-efficient automobiles as a method of conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.
Ford will also enter each city's most fuel-efficient police officer in a drawing to win a new 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid for his/her department. And beginning with Cleveland, Ford will donate $2,500 to the Police Athletic League in each city to fund programs that keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.
Ford's Hybrid Commitment
Ford recently announced a commitment to increase global hybrid production ten-fold, to approximately 250,000 units annually by 2010. More than half of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup will have hybrid capability.
"We know it's our responsibility to offer innovative fuel technology and new services to consumers," said Wright. "Not only have we dramatically increased our hybrid production over the next few years, but we are working on numerous other Flexible Fuel vehicles including four available for 2006."
Ford's Hybrid Lineup
Ford is the only American auto company to produce hybrids and was the first in the world to offer an SUV hybrid. That vehicle was the Ford Escape Hybrid, the cleanest, most fuel-efficient SUV on the road. Pulled ahead of its original production schedule because of increased market demand, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is the second of Ford Motor Company's five announced hybrid vehicles.
The Mariner Hybrid is a compact SUV with outstanding fuel economy and smart and sophisticated Mercury styling and distinctive design, has the versatility of a sport-utility vehicle and advanced technology that is capable of bettering consumers' lives and the environment.
Both the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids are the first full hybrids to be built in North America. The combined benefits of near zero emissions, the fuel economy of a full hybrid and the four-wheel drive go- anywhere capability make it the ideal ride for consumers across America who don't want to compromise what they have in their conventional vehicles today. The Ford Escape Hybrid is available for sale in dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada, while the Mercury Mariner Hybrid arrives in dealerships this fall.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With nearly 325,000 employees and 110 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and Hertz. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit http://www.fordvehicles.com.
Web site: http://www.fordvehicles.com//