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Jul 07, 2008


Matt Trostel

I've thought about an NEV as well, but the 25mph restriction is too low to be very useful, especially for the price. The 2 and 4 seat GEM's start at $7k and $10k respectively with no heat or A/C, no doors, no stereo, etc. Now 40-50mph with the same 30 mile range would be much more useful. I'd think more seriously about a vehicle like that at the prices above. That's cheaper than a Yaris or a Fit which it needs to be with the drastically reduced amenities and performance. The payoff is, of course, no oil consumption or pollution in use. But a 40-50mph speed capability would bring up safety considerations that the NEV's aren't concerned with which would likely drive up the price.

I guess I'll be waiting for the Th!nk City, Mitsubishi iMiEV or Subaru R1e.

Norman Alston

Not sure I'd want to be in a GEM at 50.

Even so, does it make any sense to limit a GEM to 25 mph because it doesn't have 5mph bumpers and airbags but let a motorcycle's speed be unlimited without them?

Matt Trostel

Agree totally with the motorcycle analogy. Unfortunately, NEV's don't have the lobbying muscle the motorcycle industry does to minimize the restrictions.

Similarly, I bet the automakers would fight any rule changes that allow more capable NEV's. The last thing automakers want is more market dilution from a handful of EV makers.


Hey, let's leave motorcycles out of the discussion about electric cars. The analog does not work.

Norman Alston

Any why not?


First all you are confusing speed with safety. Going 25 MPH maximum is dangerous on most streets in east Dallas.

I use the same argument that the gun owners use, "Guns are not dangerous it's the people that use them". The same can be said about cars gas, electric, hydrogen, or nuclear (as in Back to the Future). They are not dangerous it's the people driving them. Same thing about motorcycles.

Most motorcycle riders know the dangers of riding a motorcycle and ride according. The ones that do not are quickly eliminated from the gene pool. Unfortunately this can not be said for people driving cars. The risks of getting hurt or eliminated from the gene pool for driving like an idiot keeps get lower because of all the advances in airbags and passive restraint systems.

The best thing we can do is to educate and re-educate drivers of all ages about how to drive. That would have be biggest impact on safety.

Oh, BTW. Honda does make a motor cycle with an airbag. http://world.honda.com/MotorcycleAirbag/

Norman Alston

I don't think I'm confusing anything. I didn't write nor do I support the regulations that require a 4 wheeled vehicle without airbags and 5mph bumpers to be limited to 25mph top speed and roads with a 35mph speed limit, yet permit a 3 wheeled vehicle (or a 2 wheeled) without airbags and 5mph bumpers to be unrestricted in speed or road use. It is this loophole that has created cars like the Zap Xebra shown here: http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/electric-cars/xebra-sedan

And it is these same regulations that make available, affordable, all-electric cars like the GEM all but impractical in the very places where they are needed the most; big cities like DFW that are having difficulty keeping their air quality within EPA limits.

Matt Trostel

Saw this today...


Looks like some states are upping the speed restrictions placed on NEV's from 25mph to 35mph.

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