Pennsylvania State Parks Purchase Two Zero-Emission Vehicles

    PITTSBURGH, April 17 On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom
Ridge, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) today
announced it now is the first conservation agency in the country to purchase a
new hybrid electric, low-speed utility vehicle for use within Pennsylvania's
state park system.
    The manufacturer of the vehicles, Kronosport Inc., today delivered one
cargo van here -- newly emblazoned with the DCNR logo -- to state park
officials.  Another van will be shipped to Neshaminy State Park in Bucks
County near Philadelphia.  They are the first zero-emission vehicles being
used in the Pennsylvania state park system.
    "No noise, no emissions and fun to use," said Roger Fickes, Director of
Pennsylvania's state park system.  "A cleaner environment is not the only
benefit.  These vehicles are the only vans we own that can actually make our
employees healthier!"
    A cross between a high-tech go-cart and a bicycle, the sleek vans can
carry up to 450 pounds, plus a driver, and can reach speeds of up to 18 mph.
The van features a recumbent-style bicycle seat with pedals and hand brakes,
hauling an enclosed 63.5-cubic-foot fiberglass van.  An electric motor powers
the vehicle, which also can be operated entirely or partially under human
power.
    Fickes said the van will remain at Point State Park for a period of time
to haul equipment and materials.  The vans then will rotate throughout the
state park system to test their viability at various locations.
    "DCNR's commitment to the environment and to maintaining the beauty of our
parks is a role model for parks throughout the nation," said Ed Kron,
President of Kronosport.
    Founded in 1997, Kronosport Inc. manufactures and markets three types of
environment-friendly, human- and electric-powered utility vehicles:  pedicabs;
cargo vans; and utility trucks.
    The company currently operates in North Philadelphia and has plans to open
a manufacturing facility employing 100 within the next three years.
    The Governor's Action Team -- economic-development specialists who report
directly to Gov. Ridge -- worked with Kronosport to make this Pennsylvania
small business a reality.  The Ridge Administration provided an economic-
development package to Kronosport Inc. that includes a $200,000 Opportunity
Grant.  The Ben Franklin Technology Partners also awarded Kronosport a $60,000
low-interest loan.
    Last August, the state Department of Community and Economic Development
leased 10 pedicabs and two cargo vans from Kronosport to promote Pennsylvania
tourism during the Republican National Convention.
    "Kronosport recognizes the importance of DCNR's decision to acquire two
innovative pedal-assist, light electric vehicles," said M. Moshe Porat, Dean
of the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University and a member
of Kronosport's Board of Advisers.  "As the first state park system in the
country to purchase these alternative-fuel vehicles, DCNR has
demonstrated its leadership and vision in support of Gov. Ridge's `Growing
Greener' initiative, and its commitment to alternative-fuel solutions."
    For more information on Pennsylvania state parks, contact 1-888-PA-PARKS,
Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or log on to DCNR's website through
PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us or directly at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Information on Kronosport is available at http://www.kronosport.com.

    CONTACT:  Gretchen A. Leslie, Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 717-772-9101.


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