GEM Electric Car
It's hard to talk about electric cars without mentioning the Gem Electric Car.
Chrysler's division for electric cars that are really just big Golf Carts, GEM, deserves the
honor of having been the first maker of electric cars (in this century, at least) for consumer use. Your Chrystler
dealer has been carrying them for over a decade now and they are very customizable as well as inexpensive.
The Good news about the GEM Electric Car
The cost of ownership for a GEM electric car is very low. Some models sell for as little as
$6,000. Not to mention, you do not need to pay for gas, oil changes, most other automotive maintenance, and even
your insurance will be much smaller than if you were to insure a car.
GEM electric cars are fully roadworthy, approved for use on
the U.S. interstate system, and on your local golf club paths at the same time.
The GEM electric car is so fully customizable it can be used for just about any purpose you buy
a car for. They have Truck models, security patrol models, offroad models, and even six-seat commuter vehicle
But the lack of a dependency on gasoline is the real selling point of the GEM Electric car. You
will easily replace thousands of dollars worth of polluting gas with just a few dollars of your regular home's
The Bad news about the GEM Electric Car
Yes, there are two serious drawbacks to owning a GEM, namely Range and Safety.
The Range of a GEM Electric Car is only about 30-45 miles per charge. This means that if your
office is 15 miles away, you wouldn't even be able to go out of your way to pick up some milk on the way home...
Simply put, the GEM is a SHORT RANGE vehicle, although the manufacturer is very interested in increasing that range
in the future.
The Safety of a GEM Electric car is almost as limiting. Being roughly the size and weight of a
golf cart, the GEM electric car is not one you'd likely survive a multi-car pile-up on the interstate in! Many
models don't have doors, and there are no airbags nor shoulder belts. Despite all of this the insurance rates are
much lower to insure a GEM, but this is based on the fact that few GEM owners have ever gotten up the nerve to
drive one in real traffic!
Put together, these two concerns have given the regular readers of this website enough cause to
decide on converting their gas-cars to electric. They can get more miles with a larger bank of batteries, and at
the same time, being just as safe as the original car was to begin with.