ALAMOGORDO, NM – The city of Alamogordo is test driving an electric-powered work truck on loan from Miles Electric Vehicles, according to the Alamogordo Daily News.
City water meter reader Fabian Esquero, who drove the light-duty demonstration truck on his rounds for about an hour, was impressed with the vehicle's handling, despite its low-speed range.
The city is looking at the alternative energy vehicle to replace about six to eight of the city's truck fleet.
Public Communications Manager Maureen Schmittle said the city is hoping to purchase the vehicles through the Recovery Act funding grant. "We have a grant allocated to us for $147,000," Schmittle said. "We still have to apply for the money. We have to find out what projects are eligible for the grant."
The truck travel an estimated 50 miles on a single charge and recharges in four to five hours with a quick charge time of 90 minutes, plugged into a house electrical outlet or 110 AC outlet.
The City is also hoping to purchase three photovoltaic or solar panel-powered trash compactors through the RAF grant along with the electric vehicles to cut down on trash pickup times.
Mayor Steve Brockett, who also test drove the vehicle, said he's thrilled about the energy efficient vehicle and compactor. "This will save us more money than going to a paperless agenda for City Commission meetings," he said.
Brockett said he believes the city needs to be proactive now on renewable energy.
"Who knows were the technology will be in five years," he said. "The key is how much will it cost the city to go electric. It's all about saving on fuel costs."
The City has 22 Ford F-150 pickup trucks and 16 Ford Ranger pickup trucks.
Fleet Manager Pat White said it cost the city about $40 to fill up the gas tank for each F-150 and $36 for the Rangers.
"There's very little maintenance on them," White said. "The batteries are maintenance-free. We only have to make sure the chassis is lubed, tires are properly inflated, and lights work."