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Santa Monica Set to Purchase New Fleet of 'Firefly' Maintenance Vehicles  

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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jorge Casuso

April 13, 2017 -- A new fleet of three-wheeled electric utility vehicles called "Firefly" could soon be used to help clean Santa Monica's Promenade and parks if the City Council approves the nearly $850,000 purchase at its meeting Tuesday.

The 17 Good Earth FireFly Electric Vehicles, which cost a total of $837,747, would replace 16 four-wheeled electric vehicles purchased in 2008 that have reached their useful lifespan and one electric Ford Ranger pickup truck.
Firefly Maintenance Vehicle

The vehicles, which are classified as motorcycles, are equipped with a dump bed and would be used by the City's landscape division to empty trashcans, pick up litter, clean amenities, abate weeds and clean trash bin rooms in the Downtown parking structures, officials said.

Photo courtesy of the City of Santa Monica

"There are many standard features which factor into the overall price of the Good Earth FireFly electric vehicle," staff wrote in its report to the City Council.

"The battery technology (of) the Good Earth FireFly vehicles has improved over the last few years, making the vehicles safer, more sustainable and efficient."

The new vehicles were custom built and modified with dump bed specifications that meet the standards of the City’s Sustainable Fleet Administrative Instruction and Sustainability Plan and the operational requirements for maintaining parks and the Promenade, officials said.

"Various electric vehicles were tested for extended battery life, reliability, reduced maintenance costs, and safety," staff wrote in its report. "The FireFly vehicles were also the best fit because of their road-worthiness."

The vehicles -- which are housed and charged overnight at the City Yards -- must be capable of traveling safely on City streets, staff said. The FireFly can reach speeds of more 25 miles per hour on surface streets.

"The fact that FireFly vehicles are certified for surface street use while also satisfying the City’s sustainability requirements," staff said, "make them the best fit for Santa Monica."

The average annual cost of maintenance per vehicle is $3,050, according to staff.

If the City Council approves the consent item Tuesday, the vehicles would be purchased from Transportation Services, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that submitted the only bid.

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