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For Immediate Release


Camille Smith



The Ford Ranger Electric Vehicle will soon be showing up in more federal fleets because of an innovative new plan by the Department of Energy and Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), the electric utility company serving Washington D.C. and the Maryland suburbs.

The Energy Department and PEPCO signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle "loaner/lease" plan for federal fleets in the Washington D.C. area. This program will allow federal fleets to have an electric Ford Ranger pickup at no cost for a one-month evaluation period, after which they will be able to lease vehicles at very competitive rates from PEPCO. Federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Justice, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the General Services Administration have all indicated interest in the 30-day loan evaluation period.

"President Clinton believes that the federal government should lead by example in conserving energy. This initiative`s goal is to motivate other federal agencies to incorporate electric-powered vehicles into their fleets," said Secretary of Energy Federico Peña. "We hope to increase from 189 electric-powered vehicles in the federal fleet to 500 over the next 18 months."

PEPCO is administering the program, managing infrastructure installations, and funding up to $2,000 for the infrastructure necessary to recharge each electric Ranger a fleet decides to lease. The Energy Department is leasing the five electric Rangers that will be used in the loaner program. In addition, the Department is providing $6,669 to any agency that leases a Ranger EV for three years from PEPCO. Combined with an $8,604 lease incentive provided by Ford, this means federal agency can lease the Range EV for $448 a month. Ford's nationwide lease price is $633, while the cost to purchase a 1998 model Ranger EV is $32,795.

"We`ve been working for several years now to help the auto industry move electric vehicle technology from the laboratory to the highway. The partnerships we have forged with the Energy Department and Ford help ensure a successful commercial launch of electric vehicles in Washington and will begin to build a self-sustaining market for this critical technology," said John Derrick, CEO of PEPCO. "The environmental benefits of EVs to the Washington area could be enormous," said Derrick.

 "We will be getting the vehicle to the federal customer more easily with PEPCO`s willingness to act as the facilitator in the leasing agreement," said John Wallace, director of Ford`s Alternative Fuel Vehicles. "We`re confident that when people start using the Ranger EV on a day-to-day basis, they`ll see that this is a real truck that will get the job done, yet has no tailpipe emissions into the environment."

Point of Contact:
Camille Smith

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