DaimlerChrysler bought a small electric minicar maker called GEM in 2000. GEM made cars for gated communities, military bases, parks, campuses, and other purposes where normal city road rules do not apply — where people need to drive, but not over 25 mph.
The GEM Peapod had a newly designed center console that incudes iPod and hands-free iPhone integration, along with ergonomic mesh seating for air circulation. The Peapod was to be made in 2009, when GEM was to be renamed “GreenEcoMobility” — a move which does not appear to have taken place. (At this time, we are unsure of whether the PeaPod name kept it to production.)
GEM CEO Bruce Coventry said that the company would, within a year, make a light-duty, electric commercial truck and a larger city electric vehicle, with more range and performance. The company was, at the time, the largest electric vehicle maker, with 38,000 produced. Their line included passenger cars (seating two, four, and six people) and utility vehicles; they had a top speed of 25 miles per hour, a range of up to 30 miles per charge and six-to-ten hour recharge times using a standard 110-volt outlet. GEM claimed its vehicles have been driven a combined 200 million miles.
How was GEM created, and what happened next? Are they still owned by Chrylser or by Daimler? See our GEM Electric Cars page for the full story.
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