Council staff at the City of Sydney will soon be seen driving the streets in a Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, as part of a plan by the council to promote the use of electric cars. Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV is one of the first production electric vehicle models on the Australian market and the company is leasing 40 cars to government departments, councils and corporate ahead of its release in Australia next year.

“This will be the first of many electric vehicles to be used by the City as we deliver on our commitment made at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, to help expand the uptake of electric vehicles,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said

The i-MiEV uses a large-capacity lithium-ion battery system and a compact, high-output electric motor in place of a petrol engine. It has a range of up to 160 kilometres and a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour. It recharges in less than eight hours using a standard 15 amp power point in Council’s Kent St parking station. It does not produce any exhaust emissions.

The City will trial the i-MiEV for 6 months and collect data on energy consumption and emissions, comparing it to petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles.

“Each day more than 700,000 cars travel throughout central Sydney, significantly contributing to smog, greenhouse gas pollution, congestion and noise. Electric vehicles, together with public transport, car share, walking and cycling, can help reduce these environmental impacts. But they must use low or zero carbon electricity to reduce greenhouse gas pollution rather than simply displace it,” Ms Moore said.

Should councils and company fleets use electric cars? Should green power be used or is electricity from coal fired stations still preferable to petrol? Share your views with the community..