Local legislative trifecta for improved energy efficiency

Buncombe County’s three representatives to the General Assembly have lined up in support of House Bill 2720 — an attempt to guarantee more fuel efficiency in the state’s fleet of vehicles. The bill would require all new passenger vehicles purchased by the state to rank in the top 10 percent for fuel economy per vehicle class. Republican Rep. Charles Thomas is one of the bill’s primary sponsors; Buncombe’s Democratic Reps. Bruce Goforth and Susan Fisher are co-sponsors (as is Republican Rep. Trudi Walend from neighboring Henderson/Transylvania counties).

The bill, titled “Energy-Efficient State Motor Vehicle Fleets,” was filed May 28 and is currently before the Committee on Energy and Energy Efficiency. The legislation exempts emergency vehicles, but would place the 10 percent mandate on every other new motor vehicle purchased by or transferred to the state fleet. The 10 percent rating would be based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy ratings.

The EPA’s Web site offers guides to the most and least fuel-efficient cars (by class size), ranked by city miles per gallon. The current “most efficient overall” is the Toyota Prius, with 48 mpg, but to check your own purchasing possibilities, the site offers comparison by model and make in categories including annual fuel cost and carbon footprint (tons of CO2 produced).

— Nelda Holder, associate editor


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