THE city council’s Lord Mayor will now be ferried to official events in a MINI ahead of Oxford’s proposed Zero Emissions Zone being rolled out.

The authority said it will mean emissions from the Lord Mayor’s car are cut by 52 per cent after it stopped using its previous car, a Toyota Prius T4.

The new hybrid Countryman will be borrowed from MINI for a year.

The current Lord Mayor, Colin Cook, will see his term end on Monday.

The Labour councillor will hand over ceremonial duties to Green member, Craig Simmons.

Mr Cook said: “MINI is an iconic marque and has a long and successful history here in Oxford.

“I am thrilled that the Lord Mayor’s car reflects that history and the continuing link between MINI and the City of Oxford.”

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He added: “I am also delighted that the vehicle is zero emission capable and is another step on the journey to improving air quality in the city.”

The city council and Oxfordshire County Council will roll out the first measures for the Zero Emissions Zone (ZEZ) next year.

The authorities hope all the measures will be implemented by 2035 to create an area largely free of pollution from vehicles.

The county council also showed off their electric vehicles, which are now being used by Oxfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service.

Its Renault Zoe cars and Kangoo vans are being used by council staff and are cheaper to run than other fuel-powered vehicles.

Grahame Mitchell, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “Transport can make a major contribution to air quality and the environment.

“Making positive changes like switching to electric vehicles is just one way in which key pollutants can be banished from our roads and communities.”

The county council now has a fleet of 12 electric vehicles.

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Nine of those are used by the fire and rescue service.

Three others are pool cars used by other council staff and they can be recharged at council buildings.

It said it plans to expand its electric fleet as lease arrangements on other more polluting cars come to an end.

The city council currently owns 17 electric vehicles.

It also has nine electric bikes and 22 hybrid vehicles.

The Government said it wants to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040.

Electric cars are a popular choice in Norway, where they are exempt from tolls and, in some towns and cities, parking charges.

The cars accounted for about a fifth of all car sales in the country last year.

The Netherlands is another country where electric vehicles are a popular option.