Local News

Raleigh plugs into fuel efficiency

Posted November 20, 2007 12:48 p.m. EST
Updated April 30, 2008 6:38 p.m. EDT

— City officials on Tuesday unveiled a plug-in hybrid car that they said should help meet a goal of cutting fossil fuel consumption in municipal government by 20 percent.

Raleigh purchased a $21,300 Toyota Prius hybrid car and spent another $21,200 to outfit it with additional battery capacity and the plug-in technology that allows the car to charge up from a normal electrical outlet. The plug-in hybrid can travel 80 to 100 miles on one gallon of gasoline.

The outfitted Prius will be used by various city departments and is the latest step Raleigh is taking to cut fuel use. The City Council in April endorsed a goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 20 percent in five years.

Alternative-fuel vehicles comprise 15 percent of the city's fleet, and fuels like biodiesel, compressed natural gas and ethanol accounted for about 17 percent of fuel consumption in city vehicles over the past year, officials said.

Use of the plug-in hybrid will be monitored over the next six months to measure its fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, officials said.