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August 4, 2004
Sierra Club Applauds Introduction of Ford's Hybrid Escape

Statement by David Hamilton, Director, Global Warming and Energy Program, Sierra Club

"Today is a great day for the environment, American workers, and Ford. The hybrid Escape is a rolling advertisement for better technology and a cleaner environment. Ford has shown that the technology exists to make any vehicle, including an SUV, go farther on a gallon of gas. We look forward to helping build demand for these vehicles and encourage Ford to put this gas-saving technology to work in all of their vehicles.

 "The demand for hybrid vehicles already on the market has outpaced early predictions. We expect that the demand for Ford’s hybrid Escape will be strong, and quickly exceed the initial production of 20,000 vehicles. Other hybrid vehicle models currently being sold are experiencing up to 12-month waiting lists. We hope that Ford will seize this opportunity and aggressively market the hybrid Escape, take a technology lead by creating more hybrid models, and go from worst to first among U.S. manufacturers for fleet fuel economy.

 "Hybrid vehicles have comparable power, comfort and reliability to conventional vehicles - and can go 75 percent further on a gallon of gas. Making our cars, trucks, and SUVs go farther on a gallon of gas is the biggest single step we can take to curb global warming, cut America’s oil dependence, and save consumer’s money at the gas pump. The technology exists today to make all vehicles average 40 miles per gallon within ten years. Taking this step would save more oil than the United States currently imports from the entire Persian Gulf or could ever take out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, combined.

 "Both the causes and solutions to global warming are intimately tied to our economy, our security, and the prosperity of American workers. This week's introduction of the Escape shows that America’s automakers can make cleaner, better vehicles here in the U.S. with American labor. There is much left to do, and the Sierra Club looks forward to continued cooperative efforts with the UAW to move our nation toward a less-polluting, more efficient auto fleet."