Polaris Donates Two NEVs from Enhanced 2013 Model Year Line
Medina, Minn.-based Polaris Industries has donated two GEM neighborhood electric vehicles to the Minnesota Zoo, the state’s largest, in Apple Valley, south of Minneapolis. They are a six-passenger GEM e6sq and a two-passenger eL XD utility EV with a 70- by 48-inch flat bed that can haul up to 1,100 pounds.
Polaris Industries acquired the former Global Electric Motorcars business from Chrysler in mid-2011 (F&F, July 18, 2011). Polaris has moved GEM manufacturing from Fargo, N.D. to Spirit Lake, Iowa (the firm also builds iconic Indian motorcycles there), and has added new standard features to the GEM line of NEVs.
“We’ve nearly doubled the number of dealers carrying GEM vehicles and have seen a 70% increase of sales orders from these dealers since the acquisition,” Polaris small vehicles marketing manager Greg Thompson said in a release.
The vehicles are on federal GSA and other government purchasing schedules.
A neighborhood electric vehicle is a 100% battery conveyance that’s governed at 25 miles per hour and is street legal in most places on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or below.
45,000 in Service
New standard features on all six of GEM’s 2013 NEVs – the e2, e4, e6, eS, eL and eL XD – include more colors, updated charging cordsets for multiple countries, high-low beam headlamps, a day-night mirror, improved front brakes, suspension technology borrowed from Polaris’ leading power sport products, improved steering components, and enhanced foot pedals “for easier operation and better ergonomics.”
GEM now offers a factory-installed Max Box with cargo doors and a dual tool chest. Also for 2013 are new hard doors with improved sealing and locks. Starting MSRPs range from $7,829 to $13,459.
There are more than 45,000 GEM vehicles in service.
For Guests and the Grounds
As for the recent donation, “The Minnesota Zoo is a statewide treasure and we’re happy to provide electric vehicles that fit nicely into their indoor/outdoor environment,” said GEM GM Tim Blinkhorn. “It’s a great day when we get to help a community asset while at the same time showcase the versatility of our GEM electric vehicles.”
The donation is valued at more than $26,000, Polaris says. The donated vehicles will be used to transport guests throughout the Zoo complex, and for utility and ground maintenance. The Minnesota Zoo is located on close to 500 acres, is home to more than 2,900 animals and 504 species from around the world, andwelcomes 1.3 million guests a year, Polaris says.
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Source: Polaris GEM with Fleets & Fuels follow-up