Georgia Power & Ford Partner to Bring Transportation Program to Atlanta
Georgia Power, Emory University and Ford Motor Co. are partnering in a transportation program designed to test the market for small urban electric vehicles in the Atlanta area. The program was announced Dec. 12, 2001 during a press conference at the Electric Transportation Industry Conference (ETIC) sponsored by the Electric Vehicle Association of America (EVAA).
Georgia Power will receive 15 TH!NK city electric vehicles, which will be put into use in both the Georgia Power Employee RideShare Program and into a shared car program at Emory University. The vehicles are part of a demonstration program in which Ford is placing the 2001 European design TH!NK city vehicles in the hands of consumers to test and prepare the market for the U.S. commercial introduction of the product in 2002.
Georgia Power’s Employee Ride-Share Program allows employees who use an alternate means of travel to work to use electric vehicles to run errands and perform every day tasks while at work. The RideShare program leads to an average monthly reduction of 1.2 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Some of the TH!NK city demonstration vehicles will become part of this fleet.
Georgia Power will place the remaining vehicles into a shared car program at Emory University and the Georgia State Energy Office. Uni-versity and campus business staff who commute to campus using public transportation, will be able to access the fleet of TH!NK city vehicles for use while on campus. All of the vehicles will be equipped with an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) designed by the University of California Riverside's Advanced Mobility Systems organization. The system will allow both on-demand and Internet online reservations for vehicles. This program will provide vehicle utilization and tracking in-formation for future shared car program expansions in the Atlanta area.
"Georgia Power has a long history of electric vehicle research and implementation," says Don Still, electric transportation manager at Geor-gia Power. This program with Ford's TH!NK city will allow us to test a new urban electric vehicle in one of the applications that EVs are most suited for -- where driving distances are short and the need for a small, maneuverable vehicle is high."
This is part of a nationwide TH!NK city demonstration program. Other demonstration vehicles were placed at locations in California and New York. TH!NK city vehicles are available as station car vehicles at the Freemont, CA BART station, for daily rental at Fisherman' s Wharf in San Francisco, from select Ford dealers in California, and as part of the New York Power Authority's Clean Commute station car program.
The two-seat TH!NK city is currently on sale in select Scandinavian countries. Ford plans to begin selling a re-designed version of the car in the U.S. next year.
TH!NK is Ford Motor Co.'s full line of zero-emission vehicles. The TH!NK neighbor, a two- or four-seat electric vehicle designed for travel on speed limited residential roads is now on sale at select Ford dealer-ships. TH!NK bike traveler and TH!NK bike fun, two electric power-assisted bicycles, are currently avail-able for sale at select bike dealers and over the internet at www.thinkmobility.com.
Georgia Power began an electric transportation program in 1992. The program was furthered in 1993 with the opening of the Electric Vehicle Research Center. The center was the electric industry's first facility dedicated exclusively to electric vehicle research. Georgia Power continues to explore the use of new electric vehicles and electric transportation alter-natives.