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Duynhoven delivers fuel economy message In Parlt.

Wednesday, 13 November 2002 Media Statement

Duynhoven delivers fuel economy message in Parliament grounds

Associate Minister of Transport and Energy Harry Duynhoven drove into Parliament today in a rally car with a difference. Mr Duynhoven was driving in the EnergyWise Rally with the objective for drivers being fuel economy, not speed.

At a welcome for the Rally drivers on the steps of Parliament, Mr Duynhoven commended the motor industry for taking the initiative to promote vehicles with better fuel economy – a quarter of a century after New Zealand’s last economy rally. Most of the cars in the Rally are available in car yards around New Zealand but also on show are new generation vehicles using the latest technology.

The Minister was driving a Toyota Prius, one of over 40 cars in the Rally. The Prius is a petrol – electric hybrid car using some of the latest vehicle technology. It looks like an ordinary car but under the bonnet there are two motors, which use about one third of the fuel of an average car. The Prius is popular in the United States, Japan and Australia but is not yet available in New Zealand.

“Last time we had a rally of this type in New Zealand, we were in the middle of the 1970’s oil shocks," Mr Duynhoven said. "It is a sign of the times that today vehicle manufacturers are willing to put their hands up and put their vehicles to the test. Sustainability is becoming more important to New Zealanders. Improving fuel economy will reduce the volume of vehicle emissions pumping into our environment and help us achieve a sustainable energy future.

Mr Duynhoven said the EnergyWise Rally was a showcase for the most efficient business and family vehicles for New Zealand driving conditions.

“Transport is the single biggest energy consuming sector in our country – and it’s the hungriest in terms of growth. New cars with improved fuel economy, together with better driver habits, will put us on the right road.

“Fuel economy also makes good business sense. Over 2,500 businesses in New Zealand have a fleet of 20 or more light vehicles. For some of those businesses the running costs make up a large chunk of the balance sheet. I hope this event will encourage fleet managers to add fuel economy to the shopping list when purchasing new cars.”

The Minister drove the Prius from Palmerston North to Wellington. Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast led the Rally out of the city.

ENDS

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