The City of Sydney has taken delivery of 10 Nissan LEAF electric cars, the single largest order of the award-winning electric vehicles in Australia.
The order replaces its former fleet of 10 Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid cars, and will be used by a range of City employees, including building and health inspectors, town planners and engineers.
“They represent the first mass-produced, zero tail-pipe-emissions vehicles on the planet. We are the number one provider of that. Really, there is no emission from this vehicle as it is going down the road,” said William F. Peffer Jr., Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Australia after handing the cars over to City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
The City of Sydney became the first council in Australia to achieve formal certification as carbon-neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard in November 2011, as a result of its benchmark greenhouse gas reduction programs.
“The advantage of a car like this is, in terms of parking, it’s a real issue in the city, and reducing congestion. Congestion is currently costing us AUD$4 billion (USD $4.1 billion) a year, so we have to look at every possible way of reducing it,” said Moore.
The City has installed seven electric charging stations at its public parking stations in Kings Cross and Goulburn Street.
“The zero emissions technology, alternate fuel technology is here to stay and we are at the leading forefront of it. This represents not only our vision but the visions of other municipalities seeing the way we do it and trying to provide for a better future,” added Peffer Jr..
Carbon emissions from charging the electric vehicles will be offset by zero-carbon electricity produced by solar panels installed on City buildings.
The City is installing 5,500 solar panels on 30 of its buildings, including Town Hall House, public buildings, major depots and additional solar panels for electric vehicle charging offsets, the largest building-mounted solar installation in Australia.
“The other thing I hope it will do is to set an example to tiers of government, I’d like to see the federal government fleet in Canberra, I’d like to see the state government fleet in Macquarie Street using sustainable vehicles,” said Moore.
The LEAF’s 24kWh lithium-ion battery can be recharged in seven to eight hours using a normal charger or in around 30 minutes using a quick charger. A trickle charge will replenish the battery in 16 hours.
The Nissan LEAF comes equipped with a variety of advanced technologies, including the use of an in-built solar panel to assist in maintaining battery charge.