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LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. - On Aug. 21, 1997, Ford delivered the first factory-built natural gas-powered Crown Victoria to be used as a New York City taxi cab.
The natural gas vehicle was picked up by taxi driver Silvio Martinez at Universal Ford in Long Island City, New York, becoming one of the first drivers to purchase a natural gas version (NGV) of the sedan.
Silvio noted that he bought the NGV Crown Victoria because, “The fuel is less expensive, the performance is great and it will be an important step in cleaning up the air for my children and my grandchildren.”
At the time, Ford’s NGV Crown Victoria was the cleanest internal-combustion car on the road, meeting stringent federal and California emissions standards.
The State of New York, Ford and Brooklyn Union encouraged taxi drivers to purchase NGV taxis through a variety of monetary incentives. Under new laws, New York City cab drivers were required to buy a new vehicle between August 1997 and April 2000, with a NGV allowed to remain in use for two years longer than a gasoline-powered taxicab.
The NGV taxicab was another example of Ford’s ongoing commitment to develop alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) that were of the highest quality, met customer needs and made significant contributions to reducing impact on the environment.
Ford offered the industry’s broadest range of AFVs and in 1996 sold more than 90 percent of all AFVs in the U.S. The rundown of AFVs in Ford lineup included the NGV Crown Victoria, NGV F-250 pickup, NGV Econoline van as well as bi-fuel versions of the Ford Contour sedan, F-Series pickup and Econoline van.