DEARBORN, MI - Thousands of Ford E-Series vans are achieving 150 passenger-miles per gallon each day as commuter vehicles for VPSI, a leader in developing and maintaining world-class van pool programs.
A combination of Ford E-150, E-250 and E-350 models represent about 70 percent of VPSI's 5,000-vehicle fleet and transport more than 40,000 people in the United States to and from work each day.
"We believe we have the most ecological Ford vehicles on the road," said Steve Pederson, vice president, Fleet and Risk Management, VPSI, who calculated the 150 passenger miles-per gallon figure by multiplying the 15 mpg achieved by Ford E-Series vans by 10 passengers. Some VPSI Ford commuter vanpools seat as many as fifteen passengers, which would result in even more impressive results.
VPSI's use of Ford E-Series vanpools takes 14 million commuter vehicles off the nation's roadways each year, saving more than $73 million in fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 259,000 tons.
VPSI defines a vanpool as a group of 7 to 15 people that commutes to and from work on a regular basis. VPSI provides the vehicle, a comprehensive maintenance and repair program, insurance and back-up vans. The group of commuters shares the monthly operating expense.
Pederson says the company's decision to populate the majority of its fleet with Ford vehicles was a practical one.
"Ford made it easy for us," he said. "We have a great relationship with Ford Fleet, and we had an opportunity to work directly with Ford engineers who helped us get the base vehicles manufactured to our specifications directly from the factory, which helped minimize waste."
VPSI modified the Ford E-Series vans to include center aisle seating for easy boarding, reclining luxury seating, and individual overhead reading lights.
"The vans are very comfortable, and they make commuting time more productive because passengers can read, catch up on their work or even sleep while riding to work instead of coping with the daily grind of traffic congestion," said Pederson.
Vanpooling also helps passengers reduce wear and tear on their personal vehicles and enables them to save money. The average vanpool commuter can save $5,000 per year, compared with the cost of driving to work alone, according to Michael Norvell, vice president, Business Development, VPSI.
"This is one of those rare situations where everybody benefits," he said. "The commuters save money and enjoy a comfortable ride to work. Employers conserve on-site parking at the workplace. And we all benefit from an environmental perspective by having fewer vehicles on the road. It's a win-win-win proposition."
Ford E-Series has been America's top-selling full-size van for 31 years running. In May, sales were up 34 percent versus a year ago.