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Council expands hybrid vehicle numbers

Council expands hybrid vehicle numbers

Maintaining its focus on positive climate change initiatives, the Kapiti Coast District Council has added another hybrid emission reducing and petrol saving vehicle to its fleet.

There are now two Honda Civic Hybrid cars and a Toyota Prius reflecting the Council's commitment to supporting climate change initiatives.

Honda Civic Hybrids have an ultra-thin electric motor added to the petrol engine. During acceleration, energy from the battery pack is directed to the electric motor to supplement the engine’s performance. During braking and deceleration an electric motor acts as a generator storing energy in the battery pack.

Toyota Prius vehicles are also powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor.

In both cases the cars considerably reduce pollution and save fuel but do not compromise on general performance.

“Reducing energy use is a key strategy of the Kapiti Coast District Council,” Chief Executive Mark Dacombe says. “Energy efficiency is now firmly at the heart of all of our operations, from wastewater treatment, to in-house office operations, to rubbish disposal. Updating our vehicle fleet to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of our strategy.”

The Prius and the two Civic Hybrids reflect the cutting edge of environmental technology. Pure electric cars, while producing no pollution, often need recharging and have lower performance. The hybrid is a compromise, providing power, speed and acceleration, while using less petrol and producing fewer emissions.

The car is powered in part by a battery that is recharged by kinetic energy produced naturally as the vehicle accelerates or brakes. In petrol-powered cars, this energy is lost; in a hybrid it is recycled into an electric charge.

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