Photo courtesy of City of Sacramento.

Photo courtesy of City of Sacramento.

A switch to a new parking enforcement vehicle is expected to save the City of Sacramento, Calif., $309,904 over a 10-year lifecycle of the vehicles. The city has purchased eight Ford C-MAX hybrid sedans, replacing the GO-4 Interceptors it has been using for years.

The GO-4 is a specialized compact utility vehicle, designed so that it's easier for drivers to get in and out of the vehicle in tight quarters. Advancements in technology, such as specialized camera systems that are mounted on patrol vehicles, now enable parking enforcement officers to generate tickets without leaving the vehicle, opening the door for more vehicles for this application, according to the Fleet Management Technician Ernesto Martinez.

Fleet Manager Keith Leech requested a total cost of ownership comparison between the two vehicles. After reviewing the numbers, as well as other benefits such as better availability, less downtime, better fuel economy, and keeping in line with sustainability goals, the city decided to purchase the C-MAX hybrids.

The benefits cited by the fleet department include a lower purchase price ($4,000 less per vehicle for the hybrids), greatly improved mpg (47 for the hybrids vs. 18 mpg for the GO-4) for an estimated savings of $809 per vehicle per year in fuel costs, and significantly lowered maintenance costs (with an estimated maintenance cost difference of $26,648 per vehicle).