Sydney buys fleet of new electric cars

20th February 2013 Nick Michell

Sydney, Australia, is buying a fleet of 10 new Nissan LEAF electric cars, the largest order of the pollution-free vehicles in Australia. The 10 vehicles will add to the city’s existing four Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars and replace 10 Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid vehicles.

“The recent New South Wales Government’s State of the Environment Report showed, on some days, Sydney’s air quality exceeds national standards,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “Electric cars produce no pollution. They don’t even have a tail pipe. While our current hybrid vehicles are more fuel-efficient than standard cars, they still use petrol and produce fumes. We are now able to replace them with the latest pollution-free technology, which has much lower running costs.”

Unlike petrol, or even hybrid petrol-electric vehicles, fully electric vehicles produce no dangerous pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide which produce smog and contribute to climate change.

“Electric cars are extremely cost-effective,” said Moore. “They are 85 percent cheaper to run than standard petrol cars, they have a range of 170 kilometres on a full charge and are very quiet. To make electric vehicles a more viable option for people, the government and industry must work together to install the critical infrastructure that drivers need to easily recharge their vehicles.”

Sydney has installed seven electric charging stations at its public parking stations in Kings Cross and Goulburn Street. Australia’s first public electric-vehicle charging station was installed by Charge Point in Glebe, in 2010. It charges a plug-in Prius operated by GoGet car share, and is used by more than 500 residents and businesses.

The Lord Mayor said using electric cars was one of the ways the City of Sydney was reducing pollution and taking practical action on climate change. Carbon pollution from charging the electric vehicles will be offset by zero-carbon electricity produced by solar panels installed on city buildings. Over the next 18 months 5,500 solar panels will be installed on 30 buildings, creating the largest building-mounted solar installation in Australia.

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