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Ford, NY Power Launch ‘Clean Commute’ Program

The New York Power Authority and Ford Motor Company have joined forces to provide a clean, green alternative for the metropolitan New York commuter.

NYPA and Ford's electric vehicle group, TH!NK Mobility, will launch the "NYPA/TH!NK Clean Commute," a commuter station car demonstration using the TH!NK city electric vehicle (EV). The project is designed to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion, and promote national energy independence as electricity relies primarily on domestic fuel sources.

According to Joseph J. Seymour, NYPA chairman and CEO, the initiative was made possible by financial and technical support from Gov. George Pataki's administration.

“State tax credits, bond act financing and the Executive Order requiring clean vehicles in the state fleet have combined to present an unsurpassed array of incentives for environmentally sound transportation in New York State, Seymour said. “Now, the Empire State will host the largest electric vehicle station-car demonstration in the nation."

Ford said it would lease the TH!NK city EV to commuters in Westchester, Queens, Putnam, Nassau, Suffolk and Rockland counties for $199 per month. "Clean Commute" participants will be able to use charging stations at commuter train stations lots, where their vehicles will be repowered during the workday and ready to go for the trip home. Participants will have the option to install charging at their homes to broaden the opportunity for greater vehicle use.

Rob Stevens, president of TH!NK mobility, described his product as a two passenger city car with a range of approximately 50 miles and a top speed of approximately 55 miles per hour. It is manufactured by Ford's TH!NK Nordic subsidiary in Aurskog, Norway.

Making it Work

NYPA, in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, will coordinate activities to insure sufficient rail station parking and charging stations. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Long Island Power Authority, the New York State Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy will provide additional support and funding.

According to MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow, public transportation “has always been” the most environmentally responsible, cost-effective and efficient way to get around New York.

“Indeed, the MTA's subways, buses and commuter rail system, carrying 8 million people a day, is a big part of the pollution solution … The MTA is proud to help bring this all electric clean commute program to reality," Kalikow said.

The New York Power Authority's electric transportation program has deployed 200 electric vehicles, ranging from full-sized transit buses to battery-powered bicycles. In 2000, NYPA-deployed electric vehicles reached the "Million EV-Mile" mark. NYPA was the first electric utility in the Northeast to achieve that electric vehicle benchmark.

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