Southfield’s Code Enforcement Community Appearance Director Tyrice Beeks poses with the new parking enforcement EVs she designed.

Southfield’s Code Enforcement Community Appearance Director Tyrice Beeks poses with the new parking enforcement EVs she designed.

Photo by Patrica O’Blenes

Southfield Parking Enforcement gets four new electric vehicles

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published March 20, 2024


SOUTHFIELD — For the first time in city history, Southfield’s parking enforcement vehicles have been replaced with brand-new vehicles, according to Donovan Fann, the code enforcement supervisor for the city of Southfield.

Fann explained that parking enforcement had previously repurposed old police patrol cars.

“The motor pool department would strip all the police material that’s inside. They take everything out because we don’t need anything in vehicles. We just need the transportation and the lights on top for safety purposes.”

He added that, typically, the recycled vehicles don’t last very long due to the wear and tear from the Police Department’s use.

“I think we keep a car maybe a year,” he said.

The four new parking enforcement vehicles are 2024 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. This is the city’s first time using electric vehicles.

The new fleet boasts a new red and white color scheme. The reflective wrap helps increase vehicles’ visibility and makes them look more distinct from a police vehicle. The vehicles are also equipped with in-car video recording for documentation purposes. The cars have a regenerative braking system for added safety.

Code Enforcement Community Appearance Director Tyrice Beeks designed the new look. Beeks drew inspiration from the city’s colors and wanted to ensure the new vehicles would stand out from the Police Department’s black and gold cars.

“From our parking officers, they love the designs because, No. 1, it doesn’t look like a police car. We don’t want that because they don’t carry weapons or anything like that, so we don’t want anyone being mistaken as a police officer,” said Fann.

Beeks explained that this could be the beginning of EV use in the city of Southfield’s vehicles. She added that City Deputy Administrator John Michrina was the one who suggested trying out EVs in parking enforcement. “Any department is free to try them out. We’ve offered the invitation for them to test-drive them and see if they like them,” she said.

In October 2022, the city conducted a study using the averages based on the vehicles that Parking Enforcement was currently using at the time of the research, which included a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria, a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, a 2013 Ford Taurus and a 2013 Dodge Charger. According to Beeks, Southfield could save nearly $149,518 in a 10-year period by using EVs for parking enforcement. The annual cost for a Ford gas-fueled vehicle for 18,655 miles comes out to $3,778 using 932.75 gallons of gas. The cost per mile was based on the state’s average price per gallon in fall 2022 and came out to around 20 cents. Beeks explained that a parking enforcement vehicle drives an average of 51.25 miles per day. With the new EVs, the annual electricity use for 18,655 miles is 5.5487/kWh, which costs $449 annually and just over 2 cents per mile.

She explained that the former vehicles were often past life expectancy with over 100,000 miles and required heavy fuel usage. She added that the fleet required weekly inspections and maintenance in addition to occasional service repairs.

In contrast to gas-fueled vehicles, Beeks explained that electric vehicles require no oil change or fluid maintenance. The regenerative braking system lasts longer than a traditional braking system. The manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper warranty covers the vehicles for three years or 36,000 miles. The battery and electric components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. The corrosion warranty covers rust for six years or 100,000 miles.

“In a 10-year span, the repair, parts and labor for the used gas-powered vehicles would exceed $165,000. I estimate the cost to repair and maintain our EV fleet to be $30,500 over a span of 10 years, allowing for a potential savings of $149,518,” Beeks said.

The city spent $29,523 per vehicle and $8,000 on the vehicle technology and to upfit them. These new EVs can be fully charged within seven hours using a Level 2 charging station. On a full charge, they can be driven over 250 miles.

Beeks said that fuel costs for the four gas-powered vehicles would have exceeded $151,110 over the next decade. The cost to charge the four electric vehicles is approximately $18,000, which allows for a potential savings of $133,000 in fuel costs.

The expected life span of the new vehicles is eight years; however, the city hopes to use them for 10 years. The parking enforcement fleet is driven for 6-10 hours each day at a low speed.

For more information on parking enforcement, visit