Monday, February 26, 2007

Low-tech, low-price electric car is available now; but don't use it on the highway.

This is a preview,
not a review.

Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) is a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary in North Dakota, that makes a new type of battery-powered minicars, known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). The low-speed vehicle class, recently authorized by the Feds, allows GEM vehicles to be driven on public roads if they met safety criteria such as having safety belts, headlights, windshield wipers and safety glass.

GEM cars provide zero-emissions personal transportation that lets people have fun, and get work done. The cars, which resemble souped-up golf carts, are simple, and a lot less expensive than higher-tech hybrid gas/electric cars. Top speed is about 25 miles per hour. They can travel about 30 miles before their six car batteries run out of juice.

Six models of GEM vehicles are available for hauling people and stuff, and are used in cities, planned communities, college campuses, industrial complexes, airports and resorts. Prices range from $6,795 (two people) to $12,495 (six people). Truck models start at $7,995, and can go over $11,000. A wide range of options include stereo systems, heated seats, bumpers, pimped-out wheels, and even (GASP!) doors.

Annual fuel costs for an NEV driven an average of 100 miles a week will come to about $58, compared with $425.63 for a compact, gasoline-engine car that gets 27 miles per gallon. CLICK for more. (Info from GEM and The Wall Street Journal)

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