PRINCETON: Town to buy two electric vehicles for parking enforcement officers

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By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
When parking enforcement officers drive around Princeton writing tickets, they will be moving on electricity, not gasoline.
The town will acquire two electric-powered vehicles for them to use, the first of their kind the town will own, officials said. Last week, the council voted to authorize the $29,872 purchase, with the vehicles due to hit the streets by late September.
“It will essentially be a test run to determine if that kind of vehicle fits the need for parking enforcement. And if indeed it does, we will go more in that direction in the future,” Councilman Bernard P. Miller said Monday.
The decision follows a goal of wanting to have more environmentally friendly vehicles in the municipal fleet, with the town already owning some hybrids.
“The council has expressed a desire, as long as I’ve been part of the government, to think about greening the fleet and seeing options for us to do that in a cost-effective way,” Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday. “And I think we’re finally starting to see the price tags for some of these vehicles come down. So we’re seizing the opportunity with these two vehicles.”
The timing of this purchase came with the town needing to replace two parking enforcement vehicles, Miller said. Officials considered whether to buy regular gasoline-powered models or electric, before choosing the eco-friendly options, he said.
“And I think it was the right decision, and we’ll see if use of the vehicles in the field supports that,” he said.
Mayor Lempert called the purchase an “exciting first step.” The town, she said, should be looking at electric or hybrid vehicles on the market “and seeing if they make sense” when the time comes for the town to make another purchase.
She spoke from experience. Around five years ago, she bought a Toyota Prius, a hybrid car that she still uses.