‘The City of Florence's [three] cars that used to be at the disposal of council members are no more; now there are only two eco-friendly cars that do not pollute,' said Mayor Renzi, who recently received the first Nissan Leaf, which runs 100 percent on electric power, shipped to Italy. The Nissan Leaf will be at the disposal of local councillors, as will a second car, which is a hybrid (electric and gasoline).
At 37,990 euro, the Nissan Leaf is the first electric car to have received the Car of the Year Award in 2011 and was delivered to Mayor Renzi right in Piazza della Signoria. Nissan and the City have been partners with Renault and Enel since October 2011 to promote the use of electric vehicles. Upon receiving the car, Renzi said he wanted Florence to become the capital of sustainability; he also said he wanted to allow entrance to the historic centre to electric cars alone by 2016. ‘As of 2016,' he stressed, ‘whoever lives in Florence will have to have an electric car or use car sharing. Meanwhile, in the early months of 2012 we will introduce a series of measures to further promote electric cars, like giving Ztl passes and giving easier access to certain parts of the city.'
Locals seem to agree with their mayor. A recent survey conducted by the Osservatorio sui Servizi di Linear Assicurazioni reveals that 98 percent of Florentines think it's very important that a new car does not harm the environment, and when buying a new car, 36 percent of Florentines say they seriously take into consideration a hybrid or electric car.