@@img1 LOS ANGELES – What do organic bottled tea and the world’s first hybrid SUV have in common? Both offer customers “no compromise” alternatives, and both will be touring the East and West coasts for what Ford and Honest Tea are calling “The Great Tea Escape.”

This summer, Ford is partnering with Honest Tea to give customers a sneak peak at the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. “The Great Tea Escape” will be touring the country sampling Honest Tea’s organic bottled iced tea and educating customers about the all-new Ford Escape Hybrid. Over the next three months, two Honest Tea-branded Escape Hybrids will appear at hundreds of events on the East and West Coast – film festivals, road races, concerts, the Green Festivals and hundreds of natural foods grocery stores.

Throughout the summer, Ford and Honest Tea also will run promotions with a select retail partner that will include a sweepstakes drawing where one lucky customer will win one of Honest Tea’s ‘Great Tea Escapes.’

“Both organic foods and hybrid vehicles represent a rare chance to take our society in a more sustainable direction by offering consumers the opportunity to make healthier choices for themselves and the environment,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and president of Honest Tea. “We are delighted to partner with Ford to raise awareness about hybrid transportation.”

The Escape Hybrid is one of the most important deliverables on Ford’s promise to help create a better world. Achieving between 35 and 40 miles per gallon in city driving, it combines near-zero emissions and the fuel economy of a full hybrid-electric system with the go-anywhere capability, toughness and cargo capacity of the Ford Escape – America’s best-selling compact SUV.

“This is not just a traditional marketing relationship,” said Sheri Shapiro, Ford Escape Hybrid marketing manager. “Throughout the summer, Honest Tea will use the Escape Hybrid to carry cargo throughout major metropolitan areas – and that’s exactly the way this vehicle is meant to be used. It gets its best gas mileage in stop-and-go city driving and it’s a real Ford SUV, so it can carry five people and their stuff comfortably, with virtually no emissions.”

Ford recently invited media and celebrities to drive the Escape Hybrid throughout Manhattan to determine how far it could go on one tank of gas through New York City’s treacherous traffic. After 37 non-stop hours of driving, the Escape Hybrid traveled an astonishing 576 miles on 15 gallons of fuel with near zero emissions — resulting in fuel economy of better than 38 miles per gallon.

“We proved that the Escape Hybrid will perform exceptionally well in the worst traffic imaginablewith clean efficiency,” said Shapiro. “As the cleanest, most fuel-efficient SUV, we believe the Escape Hybrid not only aligns with the attitudes and values of Honest Tea customers, but it meets their vehicle needs as well.”

Honest Tea is the nation’s best-selling and fastest-growing organic bottled tea company whose mission is to make tea the way civilizations have for centuries – organic and barely sweetened with only one-third or less of the sugar and calories of other bottled teas. Within a year after the brand was created, Honest Tea became the first company to market a certified organic bottled tea, and today the entire product line is certified organic by the USDA. The company was recently ranked #117 in Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the United States. The company enjoyed continued growth in 2003 as a result of two new teas introduced, Peach Oo-La-Long, the first Fair Trade bottled tea, and Green Dragon Tea. For more information about the company and their products, visit

For more information about the Ford Escape Hybrid visit
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