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Brighton and Hove City Mayor's electric car swapped for a hybrid
A city mayor will no longer glide noiselessly to her engagements in an electric car after a council decided to ditch it for a hybrid.
Brighton and Hove City Mayor councillor Denise Cobb has been arriving at events in a Toyota Prius since she took the mayoral chain in May after the council ended its 12 month experiment with an electric car.
Previous incumbent Bill Randall was loaned a Renault Fleunce ZE for the year to mark the Hanover and Elm Grove councillor’s achievement in becoming the country’s first Green mayor.
However after the loan agreement came to an end the council decided to return to the hybrid Toyota Prius used by previous mayors.
Council officials splashed out £18,460 on a new Prius because the previous vehicle had been sold at auction for £3,900.
Coun Randall was forced to call a taxi in July last year after the electric car ran out of juice 30 miles outside the city following an engagement in Chichester.
Apart from that incident, Coun Randall said the car had performed well taking him all the way to Bexhill and London without a hitch.
He added: “It saved the council over the year £2,000, it only cost £2.50 a day to run and it didn’t contribute to any emissions in the city.”
Current mayor Coun Cobb said: “The electric car was loaned to us for 12 months, I never had a choice on vehicle type, they only asked me what number plate I wanted.
“The car only did about 40 or 50 miles on one charge and when it left the city centre they never had anywhere to charge it to get it back.
“I think they made the decision to get the Prius because of the problems they had with it.”
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “The electric car used during the last Mayoral year was on loan for an agreed period from Renault and at the end of that period the car was returned to Renault.
“The previous Mayor’s car had many miles on the clock and needed replacing.
“We looked carefully at |leasing but felt that purchase was the most cost effective option.
“We were happy with the performance of our previous Prius, and were able to negotiate a very good price for the new one.”
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