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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  May 09, 2000


 


Ford expands natural gas offerings with new E-450 Cutaway
.
DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford Motor Company announced that it is once again adding to its industry-leading alternative fuel vehicle line-up. For the 2001 model year, Ford will offer a dedicated natural gas version of the popular E-450 Cutaway Econoline van.

 

 

Ford-F-350-Super

Ford F-350-Super

Photo: Ford

Evolved from the "chop vans" of the 1960's, the E-450 Cutaway is a conventional short-chassis-cab van produced without a back panel for custom commercial applications. Popular uses for E-450 Cutaways include airport shuttles and parcel delivery vehicles.

The addition of the natural gas E-450 Cutaway gives customers a choice between natural gas, gasoline and diesel-powered versions of the vehicle.

"Natural gas is a great option for our customers because it is cleaner-burning and less expensive than either gasoline or diesel," said Dave Tarrant, Ford commercial truck and alternative fuel vehicle manager. "We've received a lot of requests from customers for a natural gas version of the E-450 Cutaway, and now we are answering those demands."

The dedicated natural gas E-450 Cutaway expands Ford's existing dedicated natural gas vehicle line-up, which includes the Crown Victoria, F-Series pickup truck and Econoline Cargo Vans and Club Wagons. In addition, Ford offers a bi-fuel version of the F-Series pick-up truck that can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.

Ford will begin taking orders for the E-450 Cutaway this summer. Production is scheduled to begin at the Lorain, Ohio assembly plant in December. Vehicle deliveries will begin in January. Ford expects to sell about 500 units in the first year of production.

The dedicated CNG E-450 Cutaway has a 176-inch wheelbase and dual rear wheels. It is powered by a 5.4-liter, V-8, gaseous-fuel prep engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The standard fuel tank configuration is a 9-gallon gasoline-equivalent, underbody mid-ship tank and a 10.2-gallon gasoline-equivalent underbody, aft-of-axle tanks. Total range with the standard package is between 125-150* miles depending on tank pressure and driving conditions. A kit for two additional in-body tanks is available for installation by qualified modifiers. The additional tanks are 9-gallon gasoline equivalent each. Total range with standard plus optional tanks is between 250-275 miles. (* All mileage numbers are estimates. Actual mileage will depend on vehicle usage.)

The vehicle meets ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) certification and is eligible under the Clean Fuel Fleet Program and the Energy Policy Act mandates. It carries the same three-year/36,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage as Ford's gasoline products.

Customers may buy the vehicle at any one of the 400 certified Ford natural gas dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ford offers incentives on a wide range of alternative fuel vehicles including the E-450 Cutaway.

(May 8, 2000)

 

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