Small cars snubbed

By PETER CATON

A CALL for council staff to look at driving more efficient vehicles using hybrid motors or LPG has been rejected by senior council officers.

In a surprising report, the officers argue conventional petrol-driven Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores are cheaper to run.

They told the council administrators hybrid cars are unlikely to hold their resale value, using LPG fuel works out more expensive than petrol and staff may object to being forced into smaller cars.

While the cheapest vehicle to own and operate and which is readily available "in the fleet market" is the 1.8-litre Toyota Corolla, the council officers say other factors must be considered.

"Some employees would view downsizing of vehicles as a reduction in benefits," they say.

The council's review of different vehicles found the Toyota Prius hybrid car, which uses a small petrol engine combined with an electric motor had the lowest fuel cost of 0.044 cents a kilometre.

It was followed by the diesel powered VW Golf which cost 0.065 cents a kilometre.

A petrol-powered six cylinder Ford Falcon cost 0.1161 cents per kilometre, while the same vehicle running on LPG cost 0.1198 cents per kilometre.

A petrol Holden Commodore cost 0.1121 cents per kilometre while the LPG version cost 0.1198 cents per kilometre.

However after all costs were considered staff argue the Prius costs 0.4994 cents per kilometre to run compared to the petrol Falcon at 0.4705 cents per kilometres.

Staff said LPG would have to be bought from retail outlets whereas the council has storage for petrol and diesel. The prices used were $1.09 for diesel and $0.65 for LPG.



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