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Council fleet electrifying

Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson shows off the council’s new electric car to children from the Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

 

EMILY IRELAND

Masterton District Council’s new electric car got the tick of approval last week from a group of environmentally conscious pre-schoolers.

Mayor Lyn Patterson dropped into Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre on Thursday to congratulate the young children on their latest Enviroschool achievements, rolling up in a Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle.

The $50,000 car is one of the first in the council’s fleet to be replaced with electric – and it certainly won’t be the last.

In October last year, the council unanimously adopted an “electric first” fleet purchase policy to phase out diesel and petrol fleet vehicles.

“This is about our council’s response to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce our carbon emissions,” Mrs Patterson said.

“It’s a small step, but it’s an important one.

“If every community across the world makes small steps, then collectively we will make a difference.”

Masterton District Council (MDC) has 19 vehicles in its fleet, with a mix of cars, utes and vans and petrol and diesel engines.

Eight of them are classed as pool cars, including the mayor’s, which are available for council staff to use.

MDC finance manager David Paris said each year the council looked to replace fleet vehicles coming up to seven years old – “that is general two vehicles per year”.

“Of the eight pool cars, two are due for replacement this year and one in 2019,” he said.

It is expected that all three would be replaced with electric vehicles.

The Hyundai Ioniq, which cost just under $50,000 is more expensive than the equivalent of a petrol or diesel car, and its use is “unlikely to generate savings”, Mr Paris said.

However, he said the council was keen to “show leadership in the area of environmental sustainability and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint”.

“The use of renewable energy and the conversion of the pool fleet over to EVs is one step on that journey.”

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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