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Published December 1, 2007 02:13 PM

Chicago Water Authority Purchases 30 All-Electric, Zero-Emissions Cars

Chicago - The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, one of the nation’s largest water authorities, today announced that it has purchased 30 all-electric, low-speed MILES ZX40 cars as part of its strategy to slash fleet emissions and costs. The acquisition represents the largest purchase of MILES electric vehicles by a government agency. It is estimated that the vehicles will eliminate hundreds of thousands of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year in operation.

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The ZX40 hatchbacks will be officially delivered to Water Authority Commissioners on Tuesday, November 27th at 12:00 p.m. during a ceremonial "plug-in," reflecting the fact that MILES cars and trucks are powered by industry-leading batteries that can be charged at any standard household or business outlet.

Manufactured by Santa Monica, CA-based Miles Electric Vehicles, the MILES ZX40 produces zero tailpipe emissions, with a 40-50-mile driving range and is 10 times less expensive to operate than a gasoline-powered vehicle. The ZX40 is classified as a Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV), meaning that its street legal up to 25 mph, fast enough for a range of routine District fleet tasks, including maintenance, security, and transportation for engineers and water analysts. 

“The District prides itself on protecting the environment and utilizing our resources in the best public interest, and that mission extends to our fleet decisions,” said District President Terrence J. O'Brien. “In reviewing alternative fuel vehicle options, we feel these all-electric cars are an excellent choice in terms of emissions and overall costs, while meeting our practical needs for safety and comfort,” he said.

Unlike open chassis, “golf cart-like” electric vehicles, the MILES ZX40 (a four-door, four-seat hatchback model) is built on an all-steel car chassis and offers features like AM/FM sound systems, power mirrors, and available air conditioning, while providing a superior driving range and delivering low operating costs. 

The District is responsible for maintaining the main waterways and 1,300 streams within an 883-square-mile zone that includes the city of Chicago and 129 suburban municipalities. It also owns and controls more than 25,000 acres within four metro counties. If the District were a state, it would be the 21st most populous state in the country – right between Minnesota and Colorado. On average, its seven facilities treat a flow of 1.2 billion gallons of wastewater per day.

“A lot of fleets are looking for vehicle alternatives to reduce their overall carbon footprints, and we believe that our all-electric vehicles – which cost less and pollute less than hybrids or ethanol-powered vehicles – are the best fit,” said Miles Electric Vehicles CEO Jeff Boyd. “We’re proud to help one of the nation’s largest environmental engineering agencies cut costs and eliminate hundreds of thousands of pounds of annual fleet emissions.” 

The District joins a growing list of MILES fleet customers that includes the U.S. Navy, the National Park Service, San Francisco International Airport, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and numerous colleges and universities, including Yale, Stanford and UCLA.

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