County Buys Hybrids

Albemarle County has bought a some new fleet vehicles: a pair of Ford Escape hybrids. Jessica Kitchin (who is seems to be new — welcome!) writes in today’s Progress:

The sport utility vehicles will be used for county business, mostly for those who need four-wheel drive to visit construction sites or navigate dangerous weather. Rising gas prices and an opportunity to be an environmental model to the community were the main forces behind the county’s decision to purchase the fuel-efficient vehicles.


The county also plans to add two Toyota Priuses to its nine-car fleet within six months.


County spokeswoman Lee Catlin said that the vehicles, as well as the recent green roof planted on the County Office Building, demonstrate the county’s environmental mindset.

“We want to put our money where our mouth is,” she said. “If we’re going to encourage members of the community to make environmental changes, we need to demonstrate that these options are viable.”

Hybrids generally pay for themselves in a few years, in gas price savings. As gas prices continue to rise, with little reason to think that they’ll drop in the foreseeable future, this is both a good financial move on the part of the county and a fine example for them to set.

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