Fuel Management

City of Ukiah Adds Hybrids to its Fleet

September 19, 2006

UKIAH, CA – The City of Ukiah, Calif., has bought four Toyota hybrid vehicles to add to its expanding alternative-fuel fleet, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal. Following more than two years of success with Nissan and its electric-hypertest-mini program, Ukiah’s public-service vehicles have changed. Instead of the surprisingly small electric cars commonly seen around town, residents will now see white Toyota Prius cars being used by the city.

Ukiah utilized the electric cars for many of its general purpose uses, including electric and water meter reading and sewer checks. In May, Nissan recalled the electric cars from Ukiah and some of the other cities involved with the program.

Ukiah fought to keep the successful electric cars and even released Nissan of all service responsibilities, but Nissan didn’t agree, and Ukiah’s Electrical Distribution Engineer Liz Kirkley was forced to find a replacement, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal.

Kirkley, who also leads Ukiah’s Solar Rebate Program, immediately began researching comparable vehicles in terms of size, gas efficiency, safety, and cost. Her research led her to Toyota, which offered more hybrid models than other manufacturers.

Beyond Toyota’s expanded selection, Kirkley found that the Toyota Prius featured a long-lasting warranty and excellent safety features, like driver-side, passenger, and side-curtain airbags, as well as competitive pricing. Following her research, Kirkley and the City Council agreed on the purchase of four hybrid cars: three Toyota Prius models and one Toyota Camry.

“They’re much quieter and nicer than our older city cars,” Kirkley said. “I really like it being so small. It’s easy to park in tighter spots.”

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