BLOOMINGTON, IL – The Bloomington, Ill., City Council has approved the purchase of four hybrid vehicles that operate on gasoline and electricity, according to the Web site, www.pentagraph.com. The city is testing out two Ford Escapes and two Toyota Priuses to see how the hybrid vehicles perform.

The city is also operating its diesel vehicles on a mixture that is 20 percent soy oil. The city began using a biodiesel fuel that was two percent soy oil in 2003. They recently made the switch to the higher blend because prices have been more affordable.

About 125 of the city’s vehicles — from dump trucks to a portion of the city’s fire trucks — run on the higher blend of diesel and soy oil. There are still some vehicles that will run on the two percent blend while the conversion is completed, the report said.

The two Fords, which will cost the city a total of $53,390, will be used by park security and Fire Chief Keith Ranney, according to www.pentagraph.com. The two Toyotas will cost a total of $48,172 and be used by the city’s building and zoning department.

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