NEW YORK - Ford Motor Co. has sold 100 natural-gas powered taxicabs to a taxi company in New York City.
The sale to Winner's Garage is Ford's first large order of the compressed-natural-gas-powered Crown Victoria taxi.
To spur sales, Ford is offering $5,000 worth of natural-gas fuel per vehicle to taxi companies.
Taxi operators who buy the compressed-natural-gas taxi by May 12 can also use the $5,000 incentive money for a refueling device manufactured by FuelMaker Corp. of Toronto.
'More than 2,600 tons of pollution would be eliminated every year if New York City's 12,000 medallion cabs were operated on natural gas,' said Ford Chairman Alex Trotman.
The fuel offer is being marketed to taxi drivers with an ad printed in five languages: English, Haitian French, Punjabi, Bengali and Urdu.
Ford receives credit under the federal corporate average fuel economy standard for each natural-gas vehicle it sells.
But because the sales volume is so small, the CAFE impact is negligible.
Thus, the company is selling the natural-gas taxicabs to clean up urban environments, said Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio.
Ford has sold 105 of the taxicabs since August in New York City, including those to Winner's.
Combining incentives offered by the state of New York and Ford, the cost of buying and operating a natural gas taxicab is lower than a gasoline version of the car, the company said.
New York City has 14 public natural gas refueling stations, including one at John F. Kennedy Airport.
Ford also sells natural-gas powered F-250 pickup trucks and Econoline vans plus bi-fuel Ford Contour cars, F-series pickups and Econolines.