Valdosta, Moody turn to hybrid vehicles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta, Moody turn to hybrid vehicles

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June 12, 2008

Valdosta - As gas prices go up, more agencies in Lowndes County are taking steps to conserve fuel.  For many, the answer lies in Hybrid vehicles.

When Robins Air Force Base asked the 23rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Moody Air Force Base to test a new electric mini-truck, it was an offer they couldn't refuse.

"We jumped at the opportunity thinking this would not only be a good thing on base but our troops , give the airmen a chance to see where the Air Force is going with long term environmental, green policies," says Major Rick Holifield.

They use it to cart tools and personnel to the flight line and say this battery powered pick up is an asset to their team.  "For a regular eight hour shift we get a lot of good use out of it and it's real fun to drive!" exclaims Senior Airmen James Cot.

But it's just one of 140 electric and hybrid vehicles used at Moody. The benefits they say are endless. Benefits the City of Valdosta are learning as well.

They recently purchased their first hybrid SUV. "It uses battery then gas when necessary," says Anne-Marie Wolff, the lucky city employee chosen to drive the Ford Escape.

Already they've notice some money saving differences. 

"Since we purchased and received it about two months ago we've only had to fill up with gas one time and even at that time our tank hasn't been completely used."

The city hopes to purchase a fleet of hybrid vehicles to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Moody says with the success of their test, they have no doubt more of these vehicles will be seen from the flight line to the front lines.

Lowndes County Commissioners say they don't have any hybrids yet but they doing some heavy research and feasibility studies for the next round of purchases.

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