South Pasadena acquires two electric vehicles in larger effort to reduce footprint

The South Pasadena Police Department will be purchasing two new electric patrol vehicles for the purpose of parking enforcement. The new environmentally-friendly vehicles will save thousands of dollars in fuel expenses and are part of the city’s initiative to improve air quality and energy efficiency.

In a presentation before the city council, Captain Mike Neff outlined the purpose and benefits of the upgrade. Currently, parking enforcement uses two 2004 Jeeps, which have 170,000 miles tallied. The Westward Industries GO-4—a parking enforcement vehicle designed to be maneuverable in compact spaces—was chosen as a replacement because it suited the city’s needs; since parking violations are marked using chalk, a right-hand drive vehicle is needed. The decision to choose the electric vehicles over other options was influenced by Santa Monica’s extensive use of the GO-4.

Although buying a set of Jeep Wranglers will cost $39,000 less, going electric will cut 6700 gallons of fuel consumption per year and save $20,000 in fuel costs per year. Neff claims that the GO-4’s will make up the price difference after two years of use, and are essentially paying for themselves in the long run.

“These vehicles will break [even] on cost savings after two years, and that’s not even to mention the carbon footprint that we’re going to be saving,” said Neff.

Councilmember Michael Cacciotti partook in researching and analyzing the various options by personally test-driving several models at clean-air car shows.

“One of our goals is to make [South Pasadena] a sustainable, clean, healthy city,” said Cacciotti. “As we transition our vehicles from dirty, polluting gas… it’s not only an environmental issue, a financial savings issue, it’s [most importantly] a health benefit.”

In addition to the vehicles, the SPPD is opening up three positions for parking control. Two hundred people have applied and the selection process is in its final stages.

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