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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The GEM Electric Car - I Drove One Today

A 2000 GEM Car E4. It goes 25 MPH for 30 miles. 

It seats 4 and has a load capacity of 800 pounds.

If you have been reading my web page - you know that I like electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are quiet - they have very few moving parts - they do not pollute - they are cheap to run. Unfortunately - batteries that last a long number of miles are super expensive. Regular lead/acid batteries are dependable but they have low range.

The is a 2000 GEM Car E4. It has a 4 HP General Electric motor. It operates on six 12 volt batteries. It goes 25 MPH and has a range of about 30 miles. When it runs down you must plug it in for 6 hours to get a full charge. You plug it into a regular wall outlet. 

The GEM was first made by Chrysler since 1998 - it was sold to Polaris in 2011 and they make the cars in Iowa. They are made with mostly American parts. It uses regular 12 inch tires - and has 4 wheel brakes. 

They qualify to be on the highway on any road posted up to 35 MPH. They can be titled - licensed and insured like any regular car. They have lights - horn - turn signals - seat belts - mirrors - and 4 way flashers. This car had a DVD player radio. They are offered with hard side doors and soft side doors. You can order them as a pickup truck - or 2/4/6 seat configurations. 

A new 2 seater can be purchased for $7800. So I was surprised when this seller wanted $5500 for a 13 year old one with 3300 miles on it. NADA does not list them so I do not know what is a good price.

The present owner had it for 2 years - the batteries are stamped January 2011. The average life of batteries is 3 years. Since a new set of 6 batteries is $1200 - that is a big expense. 

GEM stands for Global Electric Motorcars. They have sold 45000 in 15 years. 

The digital gauge tells you what percentage of charge you have left - the miles on the odometer - the number of hours it has been operating - and the speed in MPH. 

It has headlights - taillights - wipers - horn - and seat belts. 

The GEM Car is covered by US patents.

It operates on 6 - 12 volt Trojan batteries. 

This is an electric truck they were selling in England in 2008. I am pointing at the spot where you hook the extension cord.

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