Toyota Prius

Toyota’s environmentally friendly petrol-electric hybrid vehicle the Toyota Prius is being put to the test as part of the Countryside Council for Wales’ (CCW) programme to "green" the organisation.

The Toyota Prius was purchased by CCW from local dealership Lindop Bros Toyota in Queensferry to enable staff to assess the benefits of converting their fleet of conventional vehicles to greener alternatives. It is part of the organisation’s continued drive to increase efficiency and reduce administrative costs, whilst reflecting its general philosophy of striving for better sustainability in all that it does.

Roger Thomas, CCW’s Chief Executive said: "CCW aims to become an exemplar green organisation by 2005. To achieve this aim, we need to test out new innovations in transport; we want to lead by example. By purchasing the Toyota Prius we can find out if it is a practical alternative for organisations such as CCW, whilst raising our partners’ and public awareness of ‘green’ transport. Following the trial we hope we will be in a position to advise other organisations on innovations that will save them time and money, but ones that will also benefit the environment."

The Toyota Prius is a practical five-seater family car, which uses a highly efficient, low emissions 1.5-litre petrol engine, its electric motor, or a combination of both. As a result, in many high-density traffic situations, Prius is totally emissions-free. The Toyota Prius is capable of achieving around 60mpg in town and emits 114g/km of CO2 (around 40 per cent less than a similar conventional, automatic petrol-engined car). Other harmful emissions are reduced by around half, well under Step 4 levels that will not be introduced until 2005.

"CCW staff will be testing these new cars in the hope that more can be added to our existing fleet of cars. To do this we will compare and contrast their use, efficiency and reliability with other, more conventional vehicles. This is just the first step of greening our fleet of cars, and we will continue to test new developments in years to come," added Roger Thomas.

"The Countryside Council for Wales has already been an enthusiastic supporter of the Prius and their efforts to test the vehicle within their organisation is much appreciated," said Prius Specialist David Hughes of Lindop Bros Queensferry. "We do believe that hybrid technology is the practical way forward for organisations such as CCW who are concerned about clean-air policies and sustaining the natural beauty of Wales. This purchasing decision by a Government statutory advisor marks another significant advance in the progress of the Prius."

Published : 11/10/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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