DaimlerChrysler Corporation expanded its lineup of zero emission vehicles with its purchase last month of Global Electric MotorCars, LLC (GEM) of North Dakota.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan – One of America’s biggest automakers has purchased the largest U.S. producer of electric vehicles that can be licensed for use on public roads. With the purchase, DaimlerChrysler becomes the first major automaker to sell Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) in the U.S. Marketing of NEVs is part of the company’s continuing effort to develop and sell the environmentally friendly vehicles. GEM was established in 1997 and will produce 5,000 vehicles this year. It offers a product lineup that includes two and four passenger models, as well as two utility vehicles. The Neighborhood Electric Vehicle operations for DaimlerChrysler will be conducted through a subsidiary. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles have a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour (mph) and are certified for operation on roads that are posted at 35 mph or less. Thirty-two states have approved the use of NEVs, and the state of California certifies the vehicles as Zero Emission Vehicles. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are now in use at military bases, resorts, university campuses, and in planned communities, industrial settings and cities. In addition to emission free driving, they offer an affordable alternative in appropriate settings. The vehicles are equipped with front wheel drive, four wheel hydraulic brakes, safety glass windshield with wiper and seat belts. Other standard features are headlights, high mounted brake lights and turn signals. The vehicles stand as tall as a minivan. The vehicles can be recharged in about eight hours using a household 110 volt AC connection. Fast charge capability is being developed for these vehicles.