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Brighton and Hove mayor hails a cab after electric car hitch
It was billed as an eco-friendly way to carry the country’s first Green mayor to hundreds of community events a year.
But the electric car leased to Brighton and Hove City Council left the city’s first citizen in a spin after it ran out of power about 30 miles from home.
The incident meant Brighton and Hove mayor Bill Randall had to spend about £70 on a taxi to get him to another engagement on time.
This was enough money to pay for the car to be fully charged 28 times.
Despite this mishap, council officials said there had been no decision on whether the car will be kept beyond its initial six-month loan period.
An announcement about the Renault Fluence ZE was made after Coun Randall was appointed mayor for the year in May.
At the time, Coun Randall said: “This is great news, not just for the environment, but for the taxpayer too as the electric car won’t cost them a penny.
“I think it sends out a good message and I’m sure Renault only did it because we are a Green council.”
The council is covering running costs for the electric replacement during the loan period and considering buying its own electric car.
A council spokesman said: “We’re happy with the performance of the electric car so far.
“Early indications suggest it works well around the city and may be making savings for us in fuel costs.
“However, until the six-month free trial period is over no decisions will be made on whether to continue using an electric vehicle.
“We did have an incident recently during a visit to Chichester when topping up the charge took longer than anticipated and the mayor needed to be back in Brighton and Hove.
“As a result the mayor had to get a taxi back to Brighton.
“We will be taking this into account as part of our six-month review.”
The former mayor’s car, a hybrid Toyota Prius, has been put up for sale.