Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Set to Spend 1 million on New EV Vehicles||
By Hector Gonzalez
April 8, 2016 -- Santa Monica is considering purchasing a fleet of new three-wheeled, all electric vehicles for use by City parking enforcement officers, at a cost of just over $1 million.
Municipal Maintenance Equipment Inc., a Sacramento-based supplier, is expected this week to receive a contract to provide the City with 23 of the specialized vehicles designed for parking enforcement agencies, security patrols and meter readers, a City report said.
Just 52 inches wide, the Westward Industries GO-4 EV vehicles can be fully charged in five to six hours and have an operating range of 65 to 75 miles, according to the Sacramento-based company.
The vehicles' longer-range lithium batteries will be helpful for local parking enforcement officers, who are out in the field the entire day and have multiple shifts, staff said.
“Officers could use the same vehicle around the clock,” staff wrote in its report. “The longer battery range allows the operation to continue working without the need to charge the vehicle in between shifts.”
The vehicles, which are used by cities across the United States, including by the New York Police Department to increase police presence throughout the city, can easily navigate through traffic in dense locations much quicker than traditional vehicles, company officials said.
Officials in the City's Traffic Services Unit, which is part of the Santa Monica Police Department, had tested different types of vehicles over the past few years before settling on the GO-4 EV as best for the unit's needs.
“In addition, Traffic Services Officers enter and exit their vehicle multiple times a day. The low-to-the ground and single-occupant configuration of the GO-4 allows the driver to enter and exit the vehicle ergonomically, greatly decreasing driver injuries,” staff said.
According to staff, Santa Monica is one of the first cities in the state to place a large order for the all-electric vehicles.
Santa Monica's current fleet of parking enforcement vehicles has exceeded its life span, staff said.
The unleaded gas-fueled vehicles, purchased between 2003 and 2009, had a “cost-effective” life span of about six year, but the oldest ones have been in service for 13 years.
City Council members are scheduled to approve the contract without discussion as part of their consent calendar in the agenda next Tuesday. Consent calendar items, unless removed from the calendar for debate, are typically approved by a single vote of the council.
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