12/11/2012 6:00:00 AM Electric GEM is business friendly
Grace Stutler, 9, and her dad, Jake, pose inside a 2013 Polaris Gem on Friday at the Hyundai dealership on Stockton Hill Road.
Ahron Sherman Miner Staff Reporter
Go green and save money.
That's what Martin Swanty Hyundai hopes people will do now that it offers a line of Polaris GEM electric vehicles.
The vehicles are not for driving long distances, but they are useful for parks, golf courses, school maintenance workers and large warehouses, said Donnie Ward, Martin Swanty Hyundai's general manager.
"They're low cost and (virtually) require no maintenance," Ward said.
With zero emissions, good maneuverability and engineering that complies with federal safety requirements for low-speed vehicles, Polaris GEMs can be driven on sidewalks, on roads with 35 mph speed limits, indoors and outdoors. The battery-operated system costs about 2 cents per mile to operate, reaches a maximum speed of 25 mph and can run up to 40 miles per charge depending on temperature, grade and payload.
Each vehicle contains six batteries, which can be charged using basic household power outlets, Ward said. They take about eight hours to fully charge and can be quick charged for limited use in about an hour, he said.
"Just get an extension cord and plug it in," he said.
The vehicles, which can be customized with cargo boxes and utility beds, start at about $9,000 and go up to roughly $12,000, Ward said. Combine the low price with the use of electricity instead of gasoline and the fact that they need minimal maintenance, and it's clear that they make a lot of sense, Ward said.
"We would absolutely look into these," said Roger Jacks, Kingman Unified School District superintendent. "I could see some limited opportunities of use for these, especially for getting around to schools in town."
He said the biggest draw to electric vehicles for the school district is the opportunity to save on fuel. But the drawback is the range, considering how spread out KUSD is, he said.
"We spend a lot on fuel," he said. "Fuel costs are definitely a concern."
Call (928) 692-3232 to learn more or schedule a test drive.