Mayor given hybrid car, but council’s 109 other vehicles rely on petrol or diesel
- Credit: Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk
A mayor has been handed a brand new hybrid car - but his council's 109 other vehicles still rely on petrol or diesel.
West Norfolk council mayor Geoff Hipperson received the BMW 5 Series Saloon, which runs on a mix of petrol and electric power, on Wednesday, November 27.
The council hopes it will make more than £5,000 in savings and cut down on emissions.
But it confirmed that its fleet of 109 cars, vans, HGVs and tractors still use either petrol or diesel completely.
A council spokesman said it had trialled electric vehicles in the past but said the weight of the batteries and the distance they could travel before needing to be charged meant they were "ineffective, inefficient and impractical".
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He said: "Due to the rural nature and size of this borough there are no suitable electric/hybrid commercial vehicles on the market at the moment that would be fit for purpose.
"We are already using some battery-powered strimmers, which are more environmentally friendly, and are aware that Ford are in the process of developing a Hybrid Connect at the moment and this could be considered in the future."
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Mr Hipperson said most of his journeys were short enough to be completed on electric power alone.
The mayor said: "The new car will be much more economical and environmentally friendly and although it is a hybrid, most of the journeys will be short enough to be completed on electric power only."
The council estimates that savings of around £5,500 could be made over the next three years on running and service costs of the new vehicle.
It has taken a three-year lease option with a total cost to the council of £13,000. The council says this is a better option than capital investment in a new vehicle.
The lease will allow the option to switch to the latest electric vehicle technology available in the future.
A council statement said: "The benefits of running this hybrid car include the excellent fuel economy, especially when making short journeys around town, low emissions (less CO2 than a normal vehicle) and it's quiet when using just electric power."