The use of a small electric truck to help Port Moody parks workers deliver trees and plants to new sites and then water them has saved the city more than $2,300 in fuel costs.
It's also helped them reduce the department's carbon dioxide emissions by more than 25 per cent.
The Canadian-made Might-E truck was acquired in 2021 as part of a pilot project to determine the savings and challenges of operating an electric vehicle as part of the city's fleet. Its purchase was funded by a $28,440 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund.
Anna Mathewson, Port Moody’s general manager of community services, said the truck, that looks like a large golf cart on steroids with an enclosed cab and can be equipped with a high dump hopper, a flat deck, pickup box or cube box, has been deployed to do everything from walkway maintenance, trail restoration and improvement, removing garbage from parks and taking inventory of the city’s trees as part of its urban forest management study. She said in the winter it can even be equipped to apply brine to help control frost and ice on sidewalks.
According to CanEV, the Might-E truck can travel up to 50 km/h and has a range of 90 km.
Mathewson said another benefit of the versatile little vehicle is its silence, “which is useful near sensitive wildlife habitat.”
In fact, she added, the truck has been such a hit Port Moody’s fleet services department now consults other departments to determine if its practicable to replace aging gas-powered vehicles with new ones that run on electricity.
Currently the city has three electric vehicles in its fleet, including another Might-E truck and an EV that is used by bylaw enforcement officers. The two ice resurfacers at the Port Moody recreation centre are also electric.
But that pales in comparison to 145 electric vehicles used by the City of Vancouver, including two police motorcycles, a cube van for the city’s public library system and 66 passenger vehicles used by its engineering and parks departments.
In July, the City of Coquitlam issued a request for proposals (RFP) to acquire compact cars and electric vehicles for its fleet.
According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, fleet vehicles are “ideal applications for electric vehicles given their high utilization and the emphasis placed on lifetime cost of ownership.”