Chicago Taxis to Go Green With Ford Hybrids
– Ford is working with the city of Chicago to put hybrid vehicles into service as taxi cabs beginning in 2007, as part of a plan being considered by the Chicago City Council. Ford is loaning the city an Escape Hybrid to serve as a training and education tool with taxi fleets and the public. The Ford Escape Hybrid will help taxi companies reduce fuel expenses while helping to improve the air quality in the city.Ford Motor Company will launch the beginnings of a “Midwest Ethanol Corridor,” expanding E-85 ethanol fuel availability by about one-third throughout the states of Illinois and Missouri this year through the company’s ongoing partnership with VeraSun Energy, a renewable energy company. Actions to increase the availability of ethanol in neighboring states are planned, as well.The first phase in the creation of the Midwest ethanol corridor is to convert approximately 40 existing gasoline fuel pumps in Illinois and Missouri to E-85. The move will increase availability by approximately one-third this year. Ford estimates there are 50,000 owners of Ford flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) in Illinois and 28,000 in Missouri. Ford will work with fuel providers and officials in other states to further develop the Midwest ethanol corridor.