A North Carolina Parks Department has bought three electric cars as a way to lighten their impact on nature preserves.
Custom Solar Array
Two of the vehicles charge by plugging into the wall. The third has been specially retrofitted with a solar array over its flatbed, freeing it from the grid and allowing it to charge while in the field. The vehicles, which all have small flatbeds, will be replacing ATVs and trucks for hauling maintenance and landscaping materials. The Mecklenburg County Department of Park and Recreation bought the three GEM vehicles (Global Electric Motorcars – a Chrysler company) with help from the Solar Center at North Carolina State University.
Global Electric Motorcars vs ZAP Xebra
GEM has been working on EVs for the past 10 years and has a pretty cool car coming down the line (although we’ll see how Chrysler weathers our current economic storm). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a GEM in person – most of what I see driving around Portland are the ZAP Xebras. Personally, I can’t get over the fact that ZAP Xebra cars and trucks have only three wheels. I know that it is totally a perception thing – but I just couldn’t see myself ever buying a three-wheeled car.
Image Credit: Image is in the public domain as it appears on the Mecklenburg Park and Recreation website.
Edit: Changed South Carolina to North Carolina.