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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

City Purchases Hybrid Vehicle for Evaluation

Redwood City, CA - February 11, 2005 - Redwood City has purchased a Toyota Prius hybrid car, which will be utilized by staff throughout the City’s departments to determine that model’s viability as a City vehicle. If the hybrid is determined over the next several months to be practical and workable for a variety of City uses, then additional purchases of these clean-air, 60-miles-per-gallon vehicles will be considered.

A hybrid vehicle operates on either its electric engine or its gasoline engine, or both engines simultaneously. During heavy acceleration and high speeds, both the engines are operational, while during decelerations and slow to mid-range speeds (such as in typical city driving), the electric engine is solely in use thus significantly increasing gas mileage, and greatly reducing emissions. In fact the Prius generates nearly 90% fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle and exceeds the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) exhaust standard of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The City paid about $22,000 for the vehicle, after a $2,000 Grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The purchase includes a bumper-to-bumper six-year/100,000 mile warranty, and the only maintenance actions required of the City are tires, brakes, lubrication, and periodic safety inspections. For comparison purposes, a gasoline-only vehicle of this size would cost approximately $18,000 and include a typical three-year/60,000 mile warranty, with higher-cost and more frequent maintenance. A similar gasoline-only type vehicle averages approximately 24 miles per gallon.

Based on these statistics, it’s projected that the reduced operational cost of a hybrid will make it’s overall cost comparable to a gasoline-only vehicle, or perhaps even slightly lower. The hybrid’s environmental impact, however, is clearly of much greater value.

Visit Redwood City’s website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government.

Larry Barwacz
Public Works Superintendent
(650) 780-7485

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