City’s First Electric Car Rolls Out on the Streets

A Chevy Volt – the City of Manassas' first electric car – will be in daily field use by a Utilities Department meter technician. The meter technician's job is completing service requests by utility customers for connects, disconnects and transfers, as well as other metering functions. The meter technician used to work out of a Ford F-150, filling up on gas weekly to complete work assignments. The Chevy Volt requires a nightly charge and fill-up of the 10-gallon gas tank once a month – if that.

"We're very excited to have it in our fleet of vehicles," said Beth Eiserman, Meter Services Supervisor, whose only concern is loading and unloading tools, meters and equipment from the smaller vehicle. "The cost savings in fuel consumption is worth any adjustments."

Mike Morgan, a vehicle maintenance technician in the city's award-winning vehicle maintenance facility, which handles 450 vehicles and equipment (including 68 school buses), installed the Chevy Volt's emergency lighting and radio equipment in January and was getting ready to add the finishing touches.

"This is a dedicated electric vehicle, meaning it will run until it needs a charge, up to 40 miles of travel, and then it will switch over to the gasoline engine," explained Morgan. That is in contrast to the Ford Escape hybrids Morgan is putting on the road for the Manassas City Police Department. Hybrids switch between the battery and the gas tank at the same time.

"The main advantage of the electric car is the fuel economy and the environmental impact," added Morgan. "The Chevy Volt scores a number 10 on fuel economy in greenhouse gas ratings. It gets 37 miles per gallon on gas, and 94 miles per gallon electric equivalent. That’s impressive."

The City of Manassas continues to search for new ways to provide the same or improved level of service with less impact on the environment.

electric car rolls
Citys first electric car rolls out photo by Christian Watkins

In 2012 the city is scheduled to install five charging stations for electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt throughout the city – part of a federal grant award the city received from ChargePoint America, a U.S. Department of Energy program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The charging stations will be installed at City Hall and the VRE Parking Garage in Old Town Manassas and the Public Works Facility at the corner of Portner and Breeden Avenues.

The purchase of the electric vehicle is contributing toward the city’s Clean Fleet goal of 10% by 2020. Currently the city has 3% Clean Vehicles in its fleet.

To learn more about City of Manassas Utilities, read the February 2012 Utility Connection newsletter on the city website at

For more information contact Mike Moon, Director of Public Works/Utilities at 703-257-8351.

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