MEDIA RELEASE: New hybrid cars to reduce SWDC’s carbon emissions

3 December 2020

New, more environmentally-friendly hybrid cars are replacing some of SWDC’s aged, petrol car fleet. The four new hybrid vehicles will help towards reducing the Council’s carbon emissions as part of the implementation of its climate change strategy.

Mayor Alex Beijen is pleased with the positive step forwards.

“Council is committed to playing its part in fighting climate change. Moving to hybrid vehicles is one of many actions being implemented by Council to reduce emissions in its daily operations,” says Mr Beijen.

Chief Executive Harry Wilson further explains the move to hybrids.

“Our Greenhouse Gas inventory last year showed transport to be Council’s second highest carbon-emitting activity, behind only wastewater treatment, which is another area currently being addressed with a total rethink on the Featherston Wastewater Treatment upgrade.

“Video-conferencing has helped to reduce non-essential car journeys and is encouraged to cut down on travel where possible, but the need for vehicles remains high.

“Car travel is often unavoidable as officers have to be out and about in the community to attend to venues, playgrounds, roads and wandering animals, as well as visiting clients at building sites and health and hospitality businesses.

“When it came to upgrading old vehicles, buying hybrids was the obvious way to go. EVs are not considered a viable option at this stage, given the distances needed to cover to reach remote ends of the district – as well as their higher upfront cost,” says Mr Wilson.

As a comparison on petrol use, the old Suzuki Grand Vitara Petrol used 8.8 litres per 100km while the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid uses just 4.2 litres per 100km. For a car doing an average of 12,000km per year that is a saving of 552 litres of petrol or 1,355 kgCO2e of carbon per car per year. In addition, there are also cost savings on petrol that will accumulate over the life of the vehicle.

The Ruamāhanga Climate Change Strategy, released in July 2020, was developed jointly by South Wairarapa District Council and Carterton District Council and sets out the councils’ greenhouse gas emissions and the actions being taken reduce them. The Strategy is available at www.swdc.govt.nz/climate-change.

ENDS

Media contact

Amy Wharram
Communications Manager
027 252 2863

South Wairarapa District Council