7 January 2000
First concept cars developed under PNGV program will be unveiled in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show next week. The cars are diesel-electric Ford Prodigy and GM Precept. Both cars achieve almost 80 miles per gallon of diesel fuel (2.94 l/100km) while providing room for a family of five.
The concept cars are hybrid vehicles powered by a combination of a diesel engine and an electric motor. They utilize ultra light-weight materials including aluminum alloys and polymers. The weight of the GM Precept and Ford Prodigy is 2,875 and 2,387 lbs (1,304 and 1,083 kg), respectively.
Launching the concept cars meets the original PNGV objective of building technology demonstration vehicles in 2000. However, a lot of development has to be done before the cars are ready for commercial production. One of the biggest problems is high cost of both prototypes.
The PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles) was launched in 1993 as a cooperative program between the US government, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The goal of PNGV is to develop a family sedan with 80 mpg fuel economy and low emissions.
DaimlerChrysler's PNGV car is expected to be ready for public viewing later this year.