Vancouver city councilors just passed legislation allowing the use of LSVs on city streets with a speed limit of 50 km/hr. This makes Vancouver the first major city in Canada to allow LSV use. More info.
GEM recently announced a re-designed model called the Peapod, which will go into production in 2009. The Peapod includes a newly-designed center console that will offer iPod integration and hands free operation of an iPhone. Additional new features includes the use of eco-friendly recycled and recyclable materials and ergonomic, mesh seating which enables air circulation for comfort.
According to management GEM also 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.
In a related note, GEM has changed its name from Global Electric Motorcars to GreenEcoMobility to reflect the company’s goal to redefine environmentally-friendly vehicles.
Since tracking this industry from 2000, there has been a trend towards increasing globalization and the following developments are more evidence of this trend.
Miles Electric Enters Benelux Market – Miles Electric signed their first international distribution agreement with AllGreenVehicles of the Netherlands which will distribute the vehicles in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
GEM & Tata Team Up On Mini-truck – GEM is working with TATA Motors to develop and market an electric version of the Tata’s Ace mini-trucki in the US. GEM is expected to fit the vehicles which will be delivered nearly fully built with an electric motor and controller. The Ace was launched in India in 2005 and has exceeded the company’s expectations. Sales for the vehicle marketed to small businesses are estimated to be around 130,000 annually with double digit growth. In a related note, The Economic Times reports that the Tata Ace mini-truck being developed with GEM is expected to cost upwards of $5,000 and the companies may consider doing a joint venture depending on the success of the Ace.
Start Of A New Dynasty – Karakoram Motors Ltd. of Karachi has agreed to buy the design and manufacturing operations of Delta, B.C.-based Dynasty Electric Car corp. the company was only producing 30-40 vehicles a year but the new owner is hoping to increase production to 5,000 and sell into the EU and US markets.
New Entrant Uses Asian Imports – New market entrant BG Automotive Group plans on importing cars from Asia and installing the batteries and motors here in the US.
While this blog will be based mostly on current and more recent events, my first few posts will include some information and insights about the NEV/LSV market I’ve been gathering from the beginning of this year.
According to GEM’s sales and marketing director Jay Wik, GEM Asia reports strong increases of 30% in sales revenue attributing the increases to rising oil prices and concern about global warming. In the US dealers are reporting increases of 10-30 percent in the last year and inquiries have increased ten-fold. Increases have occurred in all parts of the country and for exports as well. The company reports that production increased 15 percent in May. Second quarter sales were reportedly up 30% from last year. One GEM dealer experiencing the sales jump is Greg Welsh of Gulf Atlantic Vehicles in New Smyrna Beach, FL who has reported a sales increase f 30%.