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Propane powered Excursion

Stephen

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Hey gang, stubled on this article, thought I'd pass it along.

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May 4, 2000
DEARBORN, Mich. Ford Motor Company began delivering a propane-powered version of the Ford Excursion to about twenty companies nationwide that will test and evaluate the vehicles for fleet use.

Ford produced a fleet of 24 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Excursions and is placing them in twenty cities around the country for customers to use for a year. The fleet will help Ford test emission-control technology and determine if there is market demand for the vehicle.

The LPG Excursion is the first propane-powered vehicle to meet California's super ultra low-emission vehicle (SULEV) standard. By pairing the clean-burning characteristics of propane with a Ford-patented advanced catalyst system and innovative engine control strategy, Ford was able to achieve emissions that are at least 62 percent less than what is required by law. Additionally, the LPG Excursion uses a fast warm-up exhaust system to heat the catalyst - significantly reducing the high level of hydrocarbon emissions produced during the first two minutes from a cold start.

"This demonstration fleet will be a great program," said Dave Tarrant, Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Commercial Truck marketing manager, Ford Motor Company. "We hope that each of our demonstration program participants find a unique way to test this vehicle to make sure it meets the needs of all our North American fleet customers."

"For example, the Pike's Peak Highway Ranger Patrol Program in Colorado will be testing three Excursions on the extreme inclines of Pike's Peak. The vehicles will be used for first-response medical assistance and highway traffic patrol," Tarrant added.

Hans D. Schalk, Pike's Peak manager, is extremely excited to be a part of the program and have the opportunity to use the sport utility vehicles for a year.

"We are really looking forward to receiving the Excursions," said Schalk. "Our rangers need vehicles that are reliable and require minimal service but can also handle a large payload. They have to have the ability to carry a lot of gear to assist motorists and hikers, and the vehicles may encounter a variety of weather from hot summer days to blizzard conditions."

Other groups participating in the test program include the Denver area Boy Scouts; Utah LP Gas, Inc. in Salt Lake City; the Department of Public Works in Louisville, Ky.; the National Propane Gas Association in Chicago; and the Port of Portland Aviation Airfield in Portland, Ore.

Equipped with a 6.8-liter V-10 engine, the propane-powered Excursion has the same performance characteristics of the base gasoline model. Two fuel tanks with a capacity of nearly 40 gallons give the vehicle a driving range of about 250 miles between refills.

Since the 1999 model year, all Ford sport utility vehicles and Windstar minivan sold in the U.S and Canada have been low emission vehicles (LEV). Last year, Ford announced that all 2000 model year F-Series pickups and Excursion would also be LEV. In the 2000 model year, Ford will put more than two million LEVs on the road annually in North America - far in advance of any regulatory requirements.

In addition to low emissions, the conventional gasoline-powered Excursion has many other environmentally responsible attributes including a high recyclable content and the use of recycled materials. More than 85 percent of each Excursion by weight can be recycled at the end of its automotive life, and nearly one-fifth of the vehicle is made of recycled materials including steel, aluminum, rubber and plastics.

Comments from several fleet operators receiving the vehicles from around the country are listed below:

Denver area Boy Scouts
Richard Fisher, Director of Field Services for the Denver area Boy Scouts, is anxiously anticipating the arrival of his group's Ford LPG Excursion. The Urban Boy Scout program serves the city of Denver and six surrounding counties and reaches approximately 3,000 scouts. Fisher estimates about 15 to 20 percent of these scouts will participate in programs involving the Excursion. Fisher says the vehicle will be excellent for camping and field trips as well as public awareness projects like parades and local displays.

Not only is Fisher happy to have a vehicle capable of transporting scouts and their gear to various areas where they may encounter poor weather or rough terrain, he is also excited about the vehicle's low emissions benefits.

"Air pollution is a big issue in the Denver area. Our scouting program focuses on conservation and energy education and I think a vehicle like this will be an excellent tool to incorporate in our existing program," said Fisher.

Utah LP Gas, Inc.
Utah LP Gas, Inc. recently received a LPG Excursion and is using it to show the public the benefits of propane-powered vehicles. Richard Burgston, president of Utah LP Gas, Inc., has been offering local businesses and groups a chance to test drive the vehicle for a week and said he has all ready received a lot of positive feedback, especially regarding the power and stability of the vehicle.

Department of Public Works in Louisville
The Department of Public Works in Louisville is receiving two LPG Excursions to use for a year. One will be used for the city's Operation Brightside program and the Metro Parks and Recreation Department will use the other. The Operation Brightside program is a thriving force in the community aimed at environmental beautification and cleanup efforts as well as school and community education programs. The group will use the vehicle to haul equipment to and from work sites and also to display at public awareness programs.

Representatives from Operation Brightside say they are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in this program. A clean environment is one of the group's biggest goals and the low emission-producing LPG Excursion is an excellent vehicle to help achieve that.

National Propane Gas Association in Chicago, Ill.
The National Propane Gas Association in Chicago, Ill., will use their Excursion to transport visitors around the city and to deliver packages and materials needed by the association. Officials of the group are extremely excited about having the chance to try out one of these vehicles for a year.

"Propane is a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline so it offers an alternative to powering vehicles without sacrificing driving performance," said Dan Myers, Executive Vice President and General Manager.

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Kind of interesting, any thoughts?




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Stephen Withrow
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97 Explorer Limited 4X4 SOHC V6
98 Lexus LS400
 


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The Godfather

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Hopefully all vehicles are propane someday. There are huge reserves under the arctic and OPEC can't put their hands on it!!! I just can't see myself driving an electric car, I like the sound of an engine plus working on it myself. The is no way an average person could work on an electric car.

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Stephen

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Sounds like the propane would be a good solution. Is it any more expensive than gas?

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donkey boy

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Stephen,
In Europe, Propane (LPG) costs about half of what regular gas costs! But, gas costs in most European countries about the double of what it costs here. Probably, LPG would have the same price as gas. Your milage with LPG is about 5% worse than with gas though.


Greetings, and tread lightly

[This message has been edited by donkey boy (edited 05-11-2000).]
 




donkey boy

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The advantage of LPG is, that you still are able to operate your car with gas. If your propane tank is empty, just go on driving with gas, what means you also elarge your range. The drawback though, propane needs a special tank, which is pretty bulky and fills half of your trunk (no problem if you have an Expedition Dead Link Removed ). Also the gas stations need special equippment.
For a lot of cars already exist conversion kits to operate them on both fuels, LPG and gas. The kit costs, for a Land Rover Discovery for example, approx. $ 3'000.00

Greetings, and tread lightly

[This message has been edited by donkey boy (edited 05-11-2000).]
 




James

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250 miles on 40 gallons! That's 6.25 miles per gallon. You would have to a gsas guzzler tax. Because I will have to pay that tax on the Viper that I will be getting after I get my job. It gets 12mpg.

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rustytr

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I think propane is a great alternative. My moms husband converts all their trucks and it saves them a great deal in gas money, and as an added kick back you get money back from taxes. If you try to pump the gas when it wont start though you've got problems, the hose going to your enging and your engine will look like they've been sitting in the arctic for a month Dead Link Removed
 




Stephen

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Heh, sounds like it has advantages and disadvantages. Speaking of gas prices, they dropped 20 cents here, did this happen elsewhere?

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Stephen Withrow
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James

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Gas prices did go down here, but not 20 cents. Maybe at the most 7 cents. What their plan is, is to raise the gas up about 50 cents, then after everybody gets angry, lower it by 20 cents, therefore they are still making a profit and we are "happy"! OPEC is worried that we are going to run out of petrolum(spelled wrong) so they raise the price in hopes that we will not drive as much and save petrolum.

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Stephen

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OPEC's raising the prices in hopes we'll save gas huh? I guess profit is simply a byproduct they've learned to live with.

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Stephen Withrow
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Skip Pendle

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Gentlemen: You must read between the lines. The United States imports on the order of 45% of its petroleum needs. That means that the other 55% comes from where? Yup, off of lands mostly owned by the people of the United States. Now, since when did OPEC gain authority to set crude oil prices for American oil pumped by American companies out of American wells for which they pay a fixed royalty?

Can you imagine the outrage if American automobile companies raised there prices 50% overnight just because for some reason cars built in Europe and Japan had similar price increases?

But when we get the royal shaft from American oil companies (and the politicans that live off of them) selling us our own oil at inflated prices, without benefit of any petroleum product to lube the way, we just grumble and take it.

Go figure.

[This message has been edited by Skip Pendle (edited 05-14-2000).]
 




Stephen

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Thats a really good point Skip, I never thought about that.

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Stephen Withrow
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fasted

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Propane fuelled Explorer

Has anyone got one? Who can tell me more about the conversion.
 




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