The GEM eS neighborhood electric vehicle, a Dynasty IT sedan.
DYNASTY ELECTRIC CAR
Although Toyota chose not to continue production of its all-electric RAV4, electric cars make sense to the people who own them, such as actor Ed Begley Jr. “My Toyota RAV4 EV handles great,” he says. “It’s the perfect car for around town, and the batteries are in perfect shape after nearly five years and 50,000 miles. The best thing is I get to fuel it with solar power from my rooftop.”
ED BEGLEY JR.
GEM currently is the dominant neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) manufacturer with more than 30,000 vehicles sold in five different models, including short- and long-bed cargo carriers.
PHOTO: GLOBAL ELECTRIC MOTORCARS
Comparing a gasoline car to an electric vehicle.
GLOBAL ELECTRIC MOTORCARS
A 1976 Porsche 914 powered by an electric motor (batteries shown in trunk).
Today, advanced, more powerful lithium-ion batteries are being developed that allow electric and gas/electric hybrid cars, such as the modified Toyota Prius shown at left, to significantly increase their performance and range.
Made by Electro Automotive, this sporty electric conversion car uses a 1965 Aztec body and Volkswagen chassis. It’s powered by a 96-volt battery series and can travel up to 100 miles at a top speed of 85 mph.
The idea of an electric car conversion is nothing new — MOTHER EARTH NEWS wrote about Robert Bucy’s Renault in the March/April 1976 issue.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
General Motors committed to build a production version of an electric car called the EV1 to meet the requirements of California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. The EV1 above is fueling up on electrons at a San Francisco hotel in 1998. Unfortunately, GM abandoned production, then recalled and crushed all the vehicles after the automaker and the federal government successfully sued the state, forcing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to abandon its ambitions for a ZEV mandate. Now CARB is trying to control greenhouse gas emissions, and the auto industry and the federal government are suing again.
AP PHOTO/MARK HOPKINS HOTEL, RAY SCOTTY MORRIS