THE WESTERN AUSTRALIA Labor Opposition wants more State Governments to take a leaf from the books of Victoria and the Federal Government on greener fleets.
Opposition spokesperson on climate change, Alannah MacTiernan, said this week that WA and other State Governments need to consider climate change when purchasing fleet vehicles in the future.
This week, the Bureau of Meteorology released figures that showed 2009 was the nation's warmest year on record.
Ms MacTiernan pointed to the upcoming Toyota Hybrid Camry as an alternative large car for Government fleets, offering greater fuel economy and lower emissions than the Holden Caprice - the WA Government's current fleet vehicle of choice.
"The principal vehicle in the WA Government car fleet is currently a 3.6 litre Holden Caprice, which consumes around 2,300 litres of petrol and emits 5.44 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every 20,000 kilometres driven," Ms MacTiernan said.
"On the same distance, the Hybrid Camry sedan would save around 2.5 tonnes of CO2 each year and halve fuel consumption."
Victoria plans to add 2000 Australian-built hybrid vehicles to its fleet, while the Federal Government recently announced plans to purchase up to 4000 hybrids by 2020.
Ms MacTiernan said that, for each Caprice replaced by a Hybrid Camry, taxpayers would save around $1280 every year, based on a $1.15 per litre fuel price.
"It also has an impressive greenhouse rating of 9/10, whereas the 3.6L Caprice, which costs $70,000, is only rated at 4.5/10," Ms MacTiernan said.
"If 20 per cent of the WA government's 11,000 cars were hybrids, WA would cut fuel consumption by 2.5 million litres and reduce emissions by 5,750 tonnes of CO2 each year."
This, according to Ms MacTiernan, would save around $2.9 million in fuel costs each year in Western Australia alone.
Of course, Ford with its hybrid-challenging diesel ECOnetic has another solution. It won't be alone in hoping that Australia's politicians inform themselves as to the environmental credentials of modern diesels (and, for that matter, clean-burning LPG) in pressing for a greener fleets.