Today I spoke with an executive at GEM, the maker of NEVs(neighbrohood electric vehicles). The firm is in its eleventh year and has put about 40,000 little electric vehicles onto the streets and low-speed roads of the U.
Today I spoke with an executive at GEM, the maker of NEVs(neighbrohood electric vehicles). The firm is in its eleventh year and has put about 40,000 little electric vehicles onto the streets and low-speed roads of the U.S. and Canada. They're made in Fargo though most sales have been into Sun Belt and other warmer regions. We do sell some into Canada, their proud spokesman told me.
GEM utility vehicle. Courtesy GEM (Global Electric Motors).
Speaking with Jay Wik, GEM Director of Sales and Marketing, I learned that most sales of their vehicles are for street and campus use. Some end up on golf courses, of course, but most are tooling around streets and allies all over the U.S. Many gated and retirement communities encourage their use to reduce noise and air pollution. With a federally-mandated maximum speed of 25 MPH, the GEM vehicles range in size from two-seater utility vehicles and the smaller two-seat passenger models up to six-seaters. They cannot exceed 3,000 gross vehicle weight.
Wik said the GEM has been selling well this year, especially when gas prices were at their highest. The months in mid-2009 brought the highest sales the company's ever seen.
Their batteries are all lead-acid, that being the most mature technology readily available. Wik said the cars qualify under the federal Buy America act.
As a road worthy vehicle the new GEMs are sold only be license auto dealers, many are Chrysler franchises--as I blogged, Chrysler currently owns GEM--though the little cars and trucks are carried by some golf cart dealers as well.