SLC Parking Enforcement Electrifies Fleet! Saves 90% on Energy Costs.

SLC Parking Enforcement Electrifies Fleet, Saves 90% on Energy Costs

 

August 1, 2018  By Ryan Anderson, Salt Lake City Sustainability Intern

The Salt Lake City Compliance Division has a colorful, new addition to their Parking Enforcement fleet. Four all-electric Chevrolet Bolts have replaced old JEEP Wranglers to deliver financial savings and notable pollution reductions.

“It’s important that we lead by example and demonstrate how electric vehicles offer a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to gas-powered cars,” stated Greg Fieseler, Compliance Division Field Supervisor. “The electric cars are fun to drive too!”

Greg acknowledged there was initially some skepticism among staff that the new EVs would prove viable as fleet vehicles. That skepticism has been replaced by enthusiasm as the electric cars are now “the preferred choice” for most employees. Compliance has been able to seamlessly integrate these vehicles without any modifications to routes or other significant operational changes.  Even with 90 degree-plus heat throughout July, and the A/C running for most of the day, the 200-plus mile range of the Bolts has allowed officers to complete their daily routes with energy to spare.

Lorna Vogt, Deputy Director of Operations for Salt Lake City Public Services, also likes the look of the new cars and the message they convey to the community. The old JEEP Wranglers were sometimes perceived as intimidating, whereas the Chevy Bolts have a friendlier look that aligns with the Division’s “primary mission of educating and not simply penalizing people for violating parking rules.”

In addition to stylish looks and a fun driving experience, the EVs are also delivering serious operational savings. Low-speed travel and frequent stopping led to fuel consumption averaging around 10 MPG for JEEP Wranglers in the fleet. Compare this to a Chevy Bolt which averages around 119 MPG-equivalent according to FuelEconomy.gov.

Use in actual operations for Compliance shows the vehicles are averaging around 3 miles per kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed through three months. This equates to an energy cost of 3 cents per mile for the EVs (assumes 9.0 cents / kWh) compared to 30 cents per mile for the Wranglers (assumes $3.00 / gallon) – an energy cost savings of 90%!

For a vehicle traveling 12,000 miles per year, energy cost savings like these add up to over $3,000 annually and quickly pay back any initial cost premium.

The new electric cars are also expected to have far fewer maintenance costs than their gasoline counterparts. The Compliance Division will be able to track and quantify actual savings over time, but reports published by organizations like AAA suggest EVs have the lowest maintenance and repair costs of any vehicle type.

While low operating costs are attractive, these new vehicles arguably deliver their most important benefits when it comes to pollution reductions and air quality improvements. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) published an evaluation in 2017 of EVs operating along the Wasatch Front in Utah that demonstrated up to a 99% reduction in local air quality pollutants relative to a new gasoline vehicle.

The SWEEP research also documented a carbon emissions benefit of 19% for EVs in Utah, but analysis of the Compliance Division fleet suggests an even bigger savings for their operations. Based on the energy consumption averages mentioned above, Salt Lake City expects the Chevy Bolts will reduce carbon emissions 72% on a mile-per-mile basis relative to the JEEP Wranglers. This is certainly a step in the right direction for the City and its Climate Positive community goals.

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Range Confidence with Ride and Drives Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead

Range Confidence with Ride and Drives Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead in the Future of Transportation Sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Energy Development

 

The air pollution problem we face in Utah is complicated to say the least. There are several significant sources, but the largest source comes from the mobile sector, contributing nearly half of the pollution emitted along the Wasatch Front every single day.

 

In collaboration with Salt Lake City and local non-profits like Breathe Utah and the Utah Clean Air Partnership, Utah Clean Cities set out to address this issue at a consumer level. We started with local dealerships, where we trained sales managers and sales staff to have a better understanding of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids. You see, each vehicle for sale has an EPA label within the window sticker. A smog rating identifies the amount of criteria pollutants a vehicle emits from the tailpipe. The larger the number on the scale, the better. For example, a full battery electric vehicle has a smog rating of 10, since it has zero tailpipe emissions. We wanted the sales people negotiating with customers to be conversant in the language of a cleaner choice for air quality, and discuss the smog rating right alongside miles per gallon.

 

From this project, our mission grew into preparing and educating the dealerships on all of the current incentives for purchasing clean vehicles, as well as local programs, like Work Electric, which focuses on significant discounts for businesses looking to upgrade their fleets. Utah is uniquely situated, along with seven other states, entering into a memorandum of understanding that each state will invest in, and build out, an electrified connected highway charging system, boosting range confidence in drivers looking to travel long distances in a BEV.

 

With all the great EV incentives and programs available to consumers today, demand is increasing rapidly. More and more Utahns are walking on to local lots asking for EVs. Some face the problem of not having vehicles physically available to try out. To give consumers a taste of what it’s like to drive an EV, we host fun and informative Ride and Drives. Ride and Drives are perfect opportunities for consumers to “try on” EV ownership. Dealers and owners of EVs graciously bring vehicles to these events for test-drive, and are able to answer the questions consumers have about various aspects of owning an EV, including where they charge and how often, and which businesses around town have free charging available. The first thing our participants notice when they step into the drivers seat is the “zip” of an EV! These cars are fast and fun to drive. And quiet! It’s not often you see seven people pile into a Tesla Model X with huge smiles on their faces. But this is one of the scenes you’ll see if you attend a Ride and Drive event.

 

Utah Clean Cities and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development hosted two very successful EV Ride and Drives this spring. The first event was held at the Fourth Annual Salt Lake County Health Department’s Climate Change Symposium, hosting over a dozen EVs and an impressive line-up of drivers to experience first hand the vehicles of the future. Over 60 symposium attendees participated in the ride and drive during lunch.

In May, Utah Clean Cities, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development brought together Utah’s leading EV dealerships to help educate and encourage hybrid and EVs at the 2018 Governor’s Energy Summit. This ride and drive proved to be our largest event to date with over 300 participants getting to check out various clean vehicle makes and models from BMW of Murray, Larry H. Miller, Ken Garff, Mark Miller, Tesla, Strong Auto Group, Ford, Tim Dahle Nissan, and XL Hybrid.

 

Programs like the Ride and Drives and EV workshops hosted by Utah Clean Cities are working to increase the consumer appetite for clean vehicle technology. More of these vehicles on Utah’s roads — especially replacing older, dirtier combustion models — will mean cleaner air for all.