Anyone seen these v...
 
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Anyone seen these vehicles running around the islands anywhere?  

 

heepajeep
(@heepajeep)
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August 12, 2008 6:02 pm  


Made by Chrysler.
35 miles per charge which at a rate of 50 cents per kwh equals $2.50 per charge (5 kwH) worth to recharge).
http://www.gemcar.com/default.asp


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GoodToGo
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August 12, 2008 6:19 pm  

With gas at about $3.75 for regular that equates to the cost of a gas operated car that gets 52 mpg - not bad. However you wouldn't catch me in one of those things on this island. It's a rolling speed bump for the SUVs and pickups around here.


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Bombi
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August 12, 2008 6:47 pm  

There's one on the East End of STX. Sometimes he gets in front of me at 7AM on my way to work. Annoyingly slow. Maybe it's just the driver?


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heepajeep
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August 12, 2008 6:50 pm  

They only go 25mph on the flat, no idea how they handle hills.

Did it have a license plate?


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Bombi
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August 12, 2008 7:02 pm  

Yes the one I saw was registered.


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dntw8up
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August 12, 2008 7:05 pm  

It looks like a cross between a Smart Car and a golf cart. Aren't the tires too small to be street legal here?


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heepajeep
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August 12, 2008 8:03 pm  

You can run tires that are D.O.T. approved that are only 145/80-10 (10" dia. rims)
The GEM looks like a grasshopper head on wheels.


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Ronnie
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August 12, 2008 9:35 pm  

Contact Doug White,architect. He had one and was trying to register it as a neighborhood car http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/index.pl/article_home?id=5480065


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Trade
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August 12, 2008 10:51 pm  

I'd hate to be caught in one of those in a real gully-washer rain. 😀 Small cars have started to float by Havensight but hopefully with the new drain/road project that won't be a problem in the future.


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Betty
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August 13, 2008 12:11 am  

Its a golf cart. If you use it to drive around be prepared for the horns and yelling that will be coming from the rear. Plus how safe is this? Seems like it would go crunch in a fender bender.


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Ms Information
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August 13, 2008 6:32 am  

I owned a GEM vehicle for three years in California. I got it cheap at that time because the govt was offering big credits to Chrysler and tax credits to the buyers.. At the same time Ford had a vehicle called a "Think Car".

They all were glorified golf carts called NEV's (neighborhood electric vehicle). They were given license plates and were considered road legal on any road with a speed limit of 35mph or less. The GEM was a lousy golf cart, but worked ok as a neighborhood car. It has quick acceleration and holds it's speed on fairly steep hills. It will slow down on longer grades. It has a motorcycle suspension and holds the road pretty good, and the regulator can be "adjusted" to increase the speed up to about 40mph.

The earlier models had lots and lots of "WARRANTY" problems. The electrical system and batteries were a very weak point. I had the mobile Gem service technician out to my house on a regular basis. Fortunately it was covered by an automobile warranty, that I extended for about $900. The extended warranty paid for itself three times over.

The battery and electrical system needed to be upgraded, and I have heard that GEM has been working on that problem.

YES, I think a small electric car has a place in the Virgin Islands. The downside is the kilowatt cost of electricity. The second problem are the hills. But they can climb hills, they just do it on island time.


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EngRMP
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August 13, 2008 12:53 pm  

I know we've had a thread talking about motorcycles and bikes, that addressed the safety problems with underpowered vehicles and dangers of bad roads, high water, crazy drivers, etc. But, if you were retired, and didn't need to be on the roads during "rush hour", I wonder if these vehicles might be viable...


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goalusvi
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August 13, 2008 2:01 pm  

I just saw one this morning when we were out for a run. It's so small! I wouldn't be comfortable driving it and most of the roads around here but I saw it on the roads near Green Cay so running up to the mailboxes or down to the marina or to the Deep End, etc would be useful and you wouldn't have much traffic to deal with


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