The Isle of Wight Council has been given a brand new hybrid Toyota Prius, courtesy of Leslies Motors.

The Prius combines a petrol engine and electric motor, and swaps between the two automatically for ultra-efficient motoring. The battery to power the electric motor can be charged by simply driving the car, and when parked it can be plugged into the council’s new plug-in charge bays.

Graham Vanassche, Leslies Motors Managing Director, said:

“Electric power is the future of motoring, and Leslies Motors has the largest range of hybrid and electric vehicles on the Island. We’re providing the council with a car of the future, to help the council to get a better idea of how to plan for the future. Meanwhile, the sponsorship will help save the council funds spent on fuel, and it’s environmentally friendly.”

The Isle of Wight Council has installed three double plug-in parking bays for pool cars at County Hall, charging plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles to improve its carbon footprint and to off-set the environmental impact of the council’s fleet of vehicles. The sponsored Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid will be the first to use the new bays in regular operation.

Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Dave Stewart commented:

“This is a great initiative, and we appreciate Leslies Motors working with us, putting a plug-in hybrid electric car out on the road. We think it will be the future for the Island.”

The Prius can be fully charged in under two hours, but also has solar panels on the roof and regenerates power while driving.