US Postal Service awards Ford Motor Company
largest ever electric vehicle order

Contact: Sara Tatchio, 313-322-7998,
Joseph Baker, 804-342-6715,
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 22, 1999 - Ford Motor Company, in partnership with Baker Electromotive of Rome, New York, has received the single largest electric vehicle order in U.S. history. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is purchasing an initial order of 500 electric mail delivery vehicles based on the Ford Ranger EV, and has the option of ordering a total of 6,000 units.
"This is a significant moment in the development of battery electric vehicles," said John Wallace, executive director of Ford Motor Company's TH!NK Group. "Our goals are to take significant environment actions and to help create a sustainable market and support the overall development of advanced powertrains. Putting EVs on the road in larger numbers is a major step in achieving both goals."
Production of the 500 electric mail delivery vehicles will begin in the Fall of 2000 and continue through the following year. The bulk of the electric postal vehicles will be used for mail delivery in California, with the remainder going to the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
"Ford Motor Company and Baker Electromotive were selected for both the outstanding product offered and our efforts to partner with government and utilities to offer an affordable price," said Wallace. "The shorter, more predictable driving routes make the postal service the perfect customer for these zero-emission vehicles."
Affordability was a vital aspect of this project. The challenge from the Postal Service was to have the electric vehicles priced as closely to a flexible fuel delivery vehicle as possible. Incentive dollars from New York State, Washington D.C. metropolitan area, California, the federal government and various utilities are helping make that a reality.
"Existing incentives are available to support the development and commercialization of advanced technology vehicles," said Skip Baker, President of Baker Electromotive. "Our team has researched and consolidated these various incentives into a cohesive package that supports this strategic deployment of advanced vehicle technology." Confirmation of the various incentives is required before the contract can be fulfilled.
Final assembly of the postal EVs will take place at Baker Electromotive outside Rome, New York in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. At the Rome facility, Baker Electromotive will assemble the electric vehicle chassis of the Ford Ranger EV with the Grumman vehicle body.
The electric postal delivery vehicles are based on the Ford Ranger electric pickup truck. The Ranger EV is the national leader in electric vehicle sales, with 561 vehicles sold in North America during the 1999 model year. There are now over 1000 Ranger EVs in use by customers throughout the country and in Canada. The vehicle's proven EV technology was one of the reasons Ford Motor Company was selected by the USPS. Ford has developed a unique pre-heat system for the postal vehicle. While the vehicle is charging, a button can be pressed to heat up the interior compartment by taking energy directly from the power grid and not from the battery system. Pre-heating the vehicle takes about 10 minutes and helps add to the vehicle's overall driving range and driver convenience.
The Ranger EV was first introduced for the 1998 model year. The vehicle can be driven about 50 miles before recharging and accelerate from 0-50 mph in 12.5 seconds, similar to its gasoline-powered counterpart. The vehicles use an industry-standard, low-cost and efficient conductive charging system.