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North Shore City Council buys hybrid car

North Shore City Council buys hybrid petrol/electric car for fleet
May 19, 2005

North Shore City Council has bought its first 'hybrid' petrol/electric car in a move aimed at promoting the use of more environmentally-friendly vehicles that feature significantly reduced fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.

The council has bought a Toyota Prius to add to its fleet of cars. The car will be used primarily by the council's Takapuna-based team of ParkSafe officers.

The Prius is powered by a Hybrid Synergy Drive system with a highly efficient low-emission 1.5 litre petrol engine and electric motor. The electrical motor is powered by recapturing energy lost when decelerating and braking, and by the energy gained by always running the petrol engine at optimum efficiency.

The Prius can select any combination of petrol, electric or combined power depending on conditions. Hybrid cars save energy at every opportunity - when conventional cars would idle, the engines of hybrids stop running and start up again at the touch of a pedal.

North Shore City Council is a member of the Energy Wise Councils Partnership. Council chief executive John Brockies says buying the hybrid car shows the city's commitment to energy efficiency, environmental care and cleaner car technology.

"We want to encourage people to consider environmental effects when they are buying and driving cars. We're supporting carmakers that are leading the way towards cleaner vehicles for the future. We're trying to lead by example," he says.

The main environmental benefits of hybrid cars are reduced fuel use, exhaust emissions and air pollution, with the Prius having particularly low carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to climate change or global warming.

The Toyota Prius uses 4l of petrol per 100 kilometres and produces 104 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre. That means the car will do around 1000 kilometres on a tank of petrol.

For comparison, the council's other fleet vehicle - the Toyota Echo - which has a smaller engine (1300cc compared to the Prius at 1497cc) uses 7.5l of petrol per 100km.

"Hybrid cars are a significant move towards reducing our dependence on fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel, and reducing air pollution from vehicles," says North Shore City Mayor, George Wood.

"The more we can improve vehicle technology and reduce the amount of energy and emissions from cars, the better it is for us all," says Mayor Wood.

Mayor Wood says the car has been given a special 'North Shore City' look. "This car helps the environment - so we have put that on the car featuring pohutukawa trees and Rangitoto - the help raise the profile of the message we are trying to get across to the public."

North Shore companies Signsation Signs and Vision On did the decal work on the car featuring the North Shore City environment.

(ends)

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