Green Fleet

Florida State Parks Make Environmental Strides With Global Electric Motorcars

July 23, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, FL– In an effort to protect Florida’s environment, save taxpayers money, and reduce the state’s carbon footprint, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service recently purchased 72 electric-battery powered Global Electric Motorcars (GEM ) cars for use in state parks. A division of the Chrysler Company, GEM creates low speed, neighborhood electric vehicles that run purely on battery and electric power, according to US States News.

 

“GEM cars allow state park staff and volunteers to conserve energy and gasoline when traveling within parks and to nearby destinations,” said Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “The cars are more cost-efficient, saving valuable state funds during this tough economic time.”

Using the new eL model GEM cars allows the Park Service to maintain a high level of service to visitors while saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Using the energy efficient GEM cars reduces carbon dioxide emissions within state parks since the vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions. In addition, GEM cars save taxpayer dollars, with virtually no maintenance or fuel costs and an initial purchase price of less than $10,000 — half the cost of a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle.

The GEM eL model purchased by the Florida Park Service accommodates two passengers with a carrying capacity of approximately 750 pounds and a top speed of 25 miles per hour. The vehicles meet federal safety requirements for street-legal vehicles on roads with speed limits up to 35 miles per hour and include many features of traditional automobiles, including safety belts, an automotive windshield with wiper, headlamps, rear brake and tail lights, turn signals, mirrors, and street-rated tires. Powered by a 72-volt battery system, a typical GEM car with fully charged batteries can get up to 30 miles on a single charge.

 

The first two-time Gold Medal winner honoring the nation’s best state park service,

Florida

’s state park system is one of the largest in the country with 161 parks spanning almost 700,000 acres and 100 miles.

 

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