Ford Motor to air TV ads promoting use of ethanol

July 5, 2006

by Earl Eldrige, The Examiner

Baltimore- Ford Motor Co. will begin airing television commercials and publishing print advertising today touting the company’s ethanol-powered and hybrid-fueled vehicles.

The move follows complaints by environmental groups that Ford reneged on a promise nine months ago to build 250,000 hybrid-fueled vehicles by 2010. Environmental groups claim that hybrid vehicles are the best current technology not only to cut America’s dependence on foreign oil, but also to reduce global “greenhouse” gases that they say contribute to global warming.

Hybrid-fueled vehicles typically get at least 30 miles to a gallon and can run on a gasoline- or diesel-powered motor or an electric motor. Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda sell more hybrid-fueled vehicles than other automakers.

CEO Bill Ford appears in the 30-second television commercials with a Ford Escape hybrid sport utility vehicle.

“Ford Motor Company has a dozen models that get at least 30 miles to the gallon,” Ford says in the TV spot. “While we can’t control the price of fuel, we’re innovating to reduce need,” he says.

The print ad shows a car’s open gas cap. Inside is the image of several pieces of corn.

“Now available in regular, high test and field corn,” the caption over the advertising says.

Automakers are developing more vehicles that run an ethanol. Most ethanol used as fuel is mixture of gasoline and alcohol derived from grain products such as corn, wheat and barley. The most promising ethanol fuel is E-85, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Instead of building 250,000 hybrid-fueled vehicles, Ford announced that it would double the number of alternative fuel vehicles that run on ethanol and other fuels, such as bio-diesel, by 2010.

The automaker said it expects to build 250,000 flexible-fuel vehicles this year.

Environmental groups criticized Ford’s plan.

“It’s time for American consumers to stop buying into Ford’s deceptions,” said Jennifer Krill, of the RainForest Action Network, an environmental group aimed at protecting the world’s rain forests.

Maryland has E-85 stations in Anne Arundel County located at the Fort Meade Service Center Chevron at 3240 Fort Meade Road and at the Quik-Mart Citgo located at 2042 West St. in Annapolis, according to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.

eeldridge@baltimoreexaminer.com

Source: Examiner

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