September 24, 2008 A decade after its launch and with 38,000 zero-emission electric vehicles produced and in use, Chrysler LLC's GEM brand has launched the first of its next-generation designs - the Peapod. Scheduled for production in 2009, the low-speed neighborhood commuter can cover up to 30 miles without recharging at a top speed of 25 mph. In keeping with the company's "lots of love" slogan, the new fully-enclosed pod design uses eco-friendly recycled and recyclable materials in its construction and should keep a lid on road rage by virtue of its smiling facade (both front and rear), as well as keeping those inside the car happy with new ergonomic mesh seating and a freshly designed center console featuring (the almost mandatory) iPod integration and hands-free iPhone support.
GEM cars are street legal in more than 40 states and currently there are six models: two, four and six-seater passenger cars plus three utility vehicles. All share a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of up to 30 miles per charge assisted by regenerative braking. Recharging is via a standard 110-volt outlet and takes around six to eight hours.
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The new Peapod design will be the first in a series of product launches. “With this next generation GEM, we will broaden the market for this clean, emission-free technology,” said the company’s CEO Bruce Coventry. "In addition to the 2009 GEM Peapod neighborhood electric vehicle, GEM has plans to market a new light-duty, battery electric commercial truck and a larger city electric vehicle, with more range and performance. These vehicles are scheduled for production within the next year."
The electric vehicle has also been given a new handle - "GreenEcoMobility".
GEM Peapod Specs:
- Estimated Curb Weight: 1,290 lbs
- Estimated GVW: 2,200 lbs
- Estimated Payload Capacity: 910 lbs
- Length: 143.6”
- Height: 70.5”
- Width: 56.5”
- Wheelbase: 102”
- Turning Circle: 32 ft
- Range: Up to 30 miles
- Top Speed (High Mode): 25 mph
- Top Speed (Low Mode): 15 mph
- Six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries with the option of six 12-volt maintenance-free batteries
- 72-volt battery system with onboard charger
- One-year limited warranty
- Dual A-arm front suspension with coil over shock
- Welded aluminum space-frame using custom aluminum-alloy extrusions
- Front-wheel drive with speed reducer and integral differential
- Solid-state custom motor controller with under and over voltage detector
- Regenerative braking, motor thermal protection and top speed regulation
- Rack-and-pinion steering