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Green Falcon Provides Relief From Petrol Prices

15 September 2000

Green Falcon Provides Relief From Petrol Price Pain

New Zealand motorists can avoid rising petrol prices and at the same time help to reduce global warming, following the launch of a new Dedicated LPG Ford Falcon sedan and wagon.

The new Dedicated LPG Falcon is the first mass production six-cylinder family car in New Zealand to run solely on LPG.

Ford New Zealand Managing Director, Nigel Harris, said the Dedicated LPG Falcon offered a balance between people’s need for personal mobility and the need to protect our environment.

“The Dedicated LPG Falcon offers big car performance with mid-sized car greenhouse gas emissions – and it won’t cost you the earth,” he said.

Mr Harris said the LPG Falcon had the potential to provide immediate results for the environment.

“This is not a concept car showcasing technology that is many years away from providing a viable alternative to petrol. It is available and accessible at an affordable price here and now.

“LPG provides air quality benefits. Australian studies show that using LPG produces 80 per cent less air toxins than petrol. LPG also produces 30 per cent less smog-forming emissions from the exhaust and creates no evaporative emissions from the petrol tank,” he said.

A US Department of Energy study indicates that LPG achieves a 20 per cent reduction in global warming potential, compared to petrol.

The Hong Kong Government has recognised the air quality benefits of LPG and as part of its drive to address pollution problems, has ordered that all the city’s 18,000 taxis will be required to run on LPG by 2005. Ford began exporting LPG Falcons to Hong Kong earlier this year as part of that process.

Ford estimates show that over 20,000km of driving, an LPG Falcon will emit one tonne less carbon dioxide than a petrol-powered car driven the same distance.

Ford projections show that by 2010, the target date for the Kyoto Protocol, Ford’s Dedicated LPG Falcon sales could be responsible for reducing global warming potential by an amount equivalent to almost half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is akin to the environmental benefit of planting nearly two million trees and allowing them to grow to maturity.

The new dedicated fuel system on the Falcon has allowed Ford to cut the price of the LPG option by more than half, making alternative-fuel motoring more accessible to the customer.

“The new LPG option will cost just $1,500 RRP. At today’s prices that is about 20 trips to the petrol bowser,” Mr Harris said.

The price reduction means motorists can recoup their initial investment within a year of normal motoring, or approximately 30,000km. Previously, the payback was more than double that.

“After that first year, you should save more than $20 every time you fill up, based on current LPG and petrol prices,” he said.

Mr Harris said the early barriers to LPG motoring had disappeared.

“People have traditionally baulked at LPG for a number of reasons, few of which are valid these days.

“Lack of performance, limited access to filling stations, concerns about quality and safety and loss of boot space were some of the main reasons people avoided LPG.

“Firstly, performance is now similar to that of the petrol Falcon and the LPG system is installed on the Ford production line, with all of Ford’s safety and quality checks.

“Secondly, there are now more than 600 LPG outlets in New Zealand. That’s about 30% of service stations nation wide.

“Finally, with the Dedicated LPG system, the tank no longer blocks access to the rear seats from the boot,” he said.

The LPG system is available on automatic Falcon Forte and Futura sedans and wagons, as well as automatic Falcon S sedans.

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