The City of Milwaukee has purchased four battery-electric parking vehicles for its fleet, estimating that it will save $2,500 per vehicle, per year in fuel savings alone, its Department of Public Works announced.The department expects lower maintenance costs as well, compared to the current fleet.

There are 52 vehicles in the parking enforcement fleet. The current fleet is made up of Jeeps that are customized with right-sided steering wheels. On its Facebook page, the department stated that it will be easier for parking enforcement officers to reach out on both sides of the GO-4 EV to place a citation than it is with the Jeeps.

Jeff Tews, CPFP, fleet services manager for the city, told Government Fleet that when factory right-hand drive Jeeps were no longer available, the city began contracting an upfitter to make the modification. This was time-consuming, sometimes of poor quality, and resulted in warranty issues. 

"The new electric units should provide excellent service for just as long, if not longer," he said.

Milwaukee is the first city in the Midwest to implement the electric GO-4 EV from Westward Industries.

Facebook commenters pointed out concerns with using the vehicles during snow season, but the department responded that the gasoline model of the GO-4 has been successfully used in Montana, Michigan, and North Dakota. 

Tews added that cold weather will drain the batteries quickly. "To extend the range in winter, these units utilize a small diesel-fired [cab] heater. In summer, the operator keeps cool with an electrically powered A/C unit," he said.

The vehicles cost $55,000 each compared with $40,000 for the customized Jeeps, the Journal Sentinel reported.

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