New Hybrid-Electric S.U.V. to Serve Rouses Point

Brian Warner

October 26, 2004


ROUSES POINT — There’s a brand new hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle available in America and, starting today, it’s rolling down the streets in the Village of Rouses Point.

The vehicle, Ford Motor Company’s new hybrid-electric Escape, was presented to the Village of Rouses Point’s municipal electric utility by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) as part of a Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program conducted in cooperation with the Municipal Electric Utilities Association (MEUA).

Village officials said they were proud to be among first to deploy the much anticipated American entry into the hybrid-electric vehicle market.

"We are pleased with the opportunity afforded us by the N.Y. Power Authority and we are optimistic of the energy savings that we expect to derive from this vehicle," said Mayor George A. Rivers.

“Rouses Point is leading by example and demonstrating that local governments can take positive steps to improve air quality through the use of electric-drive technologies,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority. “NYPA’s Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program is helping local public power systems across the Empire State deploy clean fuel vehicles that offer environmental benefits and help reduce reliance on imported oil.”

The Ford Escape runs on a 330 volt nickel metal hydride battery and a 2.3 liter 4-valve engine. The battery is recharged with power directly from the engine and from the regenerative braking system. Fully engineered hybrid-drive systems allow vehicles to run on electric power at slow speeds, significantly reducing vehicle emissions.

The Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program is a $1.2 million fund which provides loans to municipal electric utility systems and rural cooperatives seeking to purchase all-electric or hybrid- electric vehicles for their fleets. In addition to Rouses Point, the municipal electric utilities in Springville, Boonville, Fairport have also purchased hybrid-electric vehicles through the program, while the Village of Spencerport purchased the John Deere E-Gator, an all-electric utility vehicle.

Through an array of electric vehicle initiatives, NYPA has helped place more than 700 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles on the road in New York State.

“NYPA’s electric transportation initiatives are part of a comprehensive effort by New York State, under the leadership of Governor George E. Pataki, to promote clean fuel vehicles in order to enhance air quality and foster energy independence,” Zeltmann noted.