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Transportation and Mobility

The City Of LA Bought Electric Vehicles Worth Nearly $400K And Then Just Parked Them For More Than 2 Years

A white electric car displays a logo the Los Angeles city seal and the words "Parking Enforcement."
LADOT says it currently has 67 electric vehicles, such as the ones seen in this 2019 photo, in its parking enforcement fleet.
(Courtesy LADOT via Twitter)
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The Los Angeles Department of Transportation wasted city resources by allowing nearly a dozen new electric vehicles to sit unused for more than two years, according to City Controller Ron Galperin’s office.

In its latest annual report, the City Controller Office’s Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Unit revealed that LADOT had “nearly 12 brand new electric vehicles” collectively worth more than $384,000 parked in a city-owned lot for over two years.

Galperin’s office conducted an investigation and found LADOT “did not have the proper electric charging infrastructure in place to deploy the vehicles when they were purchased which resulted in the vehicles sitting unused.” The report goes on:

The vehicles were ultimately placed into service and we recommended that the department perform a thorough evaluation as to whether there is appropriate infrastructure in place prior to purchasing similar assets that require new infrastructure for their operation.
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The controller’s office did not provide additional details about the investigation, citing confidentiality concerns. We asked if “nearly 12” was a weird way of saying 11 vehicles, but an office spokesperson was not able to provide the exact number of vehicles.

LADOT spokesperson Colin Sweeney told LAist the EVs had been purchased by the Department of General Services for LADOT’s Parking Enforcement and Traffic Control division “as part of the city’s effort to significantly expand the number of electric vehicles used by city departments.”

“The vehicles were stored securely in a General Services Division lot until the department was able to buy and install the necessary charging infrastructure,” Sweeney said.

The department currently has 67 EVs in its parking enforcement fleet and charging stations at five of its facilities, he added.

We asked LADOT why it took so long to secure charging stations for the EVs, but did not get an answer.

We also asked for a timeframe to understand when the vehicles were first purchased, how soon after the city controller’s office investigation they were put in service, and what make and model the vehicles were. Department officials declined to elaborate.

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