Author poses in GEM electric transporter during Ride & Drive event designed to explore the potential of neighborhood electric vehicles.

NEVs Invade Vacaville

Ed Heustis is the transportation manager for city of Vacaville,

By Ed Heustis

The Northern California Inland Chapter of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) in conjunction with the City of Vacaville hosted the Chapter's first ever Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Ride and Drive luncheon event at the Ulatis Cultural Center in Vacaville on June 20. Several members from the Chapter, including Chapter President Sue Schooley and members from the Board of Directors, attended the lunch. Kathy Coulter, the new Public Information Officer for the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District also attended the event with the Air District's display board with air quality information.

Attendees were treated to presentations by the automakers during lunch and had their questions answered prior to the actual Ride and Drive part of the event. Michael Coates from the Green Car Group representing Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) provided information on the GEM vehicles, and added a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) perspective as well with the mention of possible applications for these Low Speed Vehicles. See their website at www.gemcar.com for additional information.

Wayne Zawisza from Dynasty Motorcar Corporation then provided information on Dynasty's line of enclosed NEVs. See their new website at www.itiselectric.com for additional information on the complete line of vehicles that they are offering for sale.

The Neighborhood Electric Vehicle is a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) that can provide a viable non-polluting transportation alternative. The vehicle is charged from a standard 110-volt electrical outlet and will travel up to 30 miles on a single charge at a speed of 25 mph. Low Speed Vehicles are street legal throughout the State of California and are allowed on streets up to and including those streets that are posted with speed limits of 35 mph. It costs less than one dollar to charge the NEV from empty to full.

With all of the questions answered with quite an exchange of information from both the automakers and attendees, it was time for the Ride and Drives of the NEVs. GEM had a four-passenger NEV and a two-passenger utility NEV available to try out. Dynasty had a yellow four-passenger NEV that ended up taking several trips around the expansive parking lot.

Feedback from the automakers and attendees provided proof that the ACT event was a success with both parties looking forward to another similar event in the near future.

Following the ACT Luncheon event, the NEV Ride and Drives were open to the public from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Ride & Drive Photos

Dynasty Motor's IT neighborhood electric vehicle carries four passengers and has a top speed of 25 mph.

GEM four passenger NEV is intended for warmer climes

IT electric vehicle has its lead acid batteries located under the hood.

Times Article Viewed: 3082
Published: 22-Jul-2001


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