City using 3 electric cars

By Guy Poole Daily Planet staff
Wednesday August 08, 2001

City officials say they are quietly leading the way to improved air quality by using three all-electric vehicles. The city’s first was a red Solectria Force leased in September 1999. It now has 7,389 unpolluted miles and is driven every day. 

“It’s our goal and objective to use 100 percent completely alternative fuel vehicles.” said Bill Ivie, the city’s equipment superintendent. 

Berkeley purchased a three-year lease for $15,670 with an option to buy in September, 1999, said Patrick Keilch, deputy director of public works.  

This was subsidized by a $4,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. With the help of two more grants, the city leased two, all-electric, Ford Ranger trucks last year 

The red Solectria Force is a converted 1999 Geo Metro four door sedan. 

“The car is so quiet nobody can hear you coming, not pedestrians or bicyclists,” said Ivie.“You have to be a defensive driver. It’s like being a bicyclist looking for bicyclists, you just have to watch for them.”