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‘Green’ Toyota Prius For Greenfleet

27 May 2004

‘Green’ Toyota Prius For Greenfleet

GreenFleet, a new programme designed to help businesses reduce the impact of transportation on the environment, now has one of the world’s cleanest and greenest cars, the revolutionary new Toyota Prius petrol/electric hybrid.

A recently-launched initiative of the Sustainable Business Network, GreenFleet works with companies throughout the country to promote transport efficiency by encouraging businesses to develop travel plans with their staff, to explore alternative fuels and vehicles and to plant native trees to off-set carbon emissions from their vehicle fleets.

At the delivery of the Toyota Prius in Auckland, chief executive of the Sustainable Business Network, Jami Williams, said transport accounts for 42 per cent of all carbon monoxide emissions in New Zealand.

She said New Zealanders now owned more than three million vehicles and more than 80 per cent of Aucklanders travelled to work by car.

“Vehicle pollution levels in Auckland are now comparable with those in New York, and they regularly exceed World Health Organisation standards.”

Climate change, the proposed carbon taxes under the Kyoto protocol, increasing traffic congestion and a dramatic rise in fuel costs were making the issue more urgent.

“We urgently need to find practical ways of managing energy use and reducing emissions.”

Ms Williams said hybrid petrol/electric cars like the Prius would play an increasingly important role in lowering pollution from vehicle exhausts.

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The Prius produces significantly less exhaust emissions than those from a car of similar size while achieving petrol consumption of only 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres (64 miles per gallon), as measured by established international test procedures.

Toyota New Zealand environmental officer Andrew Davis said Toyota was proud to be a key supporter of GreenFleet.

“Sustainable business is an extension of Toyota’s corporate culture which is founded on two major principles – respect for people and continuous improvement. This extends naturally to respecting the environment and this has resulted in a high level of commitment to environmental issues within Toyota worldwide,” he said.

More than 200,000 Prius cars have been sold since 1997 when it became the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle.

The latest model Prius was released in New Zealand late last year, and there is now up to a three-month waiting period.

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