Auckland Council is moving to electric cars to help save on its vehicle bills and go easier on the environment. The council has just replaced 10 of its gasoline-powered cars with two fully electric Nissan LEAFs and eight Toyota Prius hybrids, according to a report by

So far the more environmentally friendly vehicles are only a small proportion of its 800-strong fleet, but it's a start, Mayor Len Brown said. He said he hopes the council will replace at least two to three gasoline cars a year with EVs. If that is done, up to 40 percent of the fleet could be electric within 20 years, according to the report.

Chief sustainability officer John Mauro said people had "range anxiety" about electric cars, but the battery in a LEAF lasted for 135 kilometers, and it was unusual for a council vehicle to be driven further than that in a day. The cost of operating an EV was now on a par with a standard car, according to the report.

It cost the council AUS$24,390 (U.S.$18,084) to have a petrol-run Hyundai 130 in its fleet, compared with AUS$24,924 (U.S.$18,480) for an electric LEAF, according to the report.