February 20, 2007. The Greens’ survey of local body vehicle fleets has slammed some councils for running “gas guzzlers” even though they’re the most suitable for the job.
For example, it criticised Horizons Regional Council (the trading name of the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council) for using “an array of gas guzzling Toyota Hiluxes including a petrol-powered Nissan Patrol (photo).”
However, a council spokesman said these vehicles are most suitable for the kind of heavy and often off-road work that regional councils are required to do. Other councils also quickly defended their 4WDs, which in most cases comprised a small part of the fleet mix.
The survey analysed 4569 cars, utes, vans and 4WD wagons used by 82 city, district and regional councils. Among other things, it found that they consumed an average of 8.9 litres of fuel per 100km – in the Greens’ eyes well above the consumption of the most efficient vehicles available.
The Greens also reckoned that Auckland region’s seven local bodies could save $446,514 annually if they were using “equally suitable” fuel efficient vehicles. Such vehicles would also “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 790 tonnes”.