Ducks, damage and the GEM gets tucked away

The GEM car was developed in 2000 to meet the California no-discharge requirements. They have been used extensively at state parks and for parking enforcement along the Jersey shore boardwalk communities. The GEM cars have been in production since 2001, with improvements each year. The battery system is a 72 volt DC system with 660 amp hours of battery storage. This gives me 2 trips to the village or maybe 3, if I don't climb the east-to-west hills. Scrambling to put on the side curtains on during a surprise shower is a bit of a problem.

If we lived in the village, it would be an excellent choice for circulating around from March to December. The tires on a GEM car are suited for easy, low-resistance rolling and are in no way suited to tough driveways with snow and ice.

I have never had enough courage to motor into Skaneateles, venture over to the NAPA next to the Ultimate Goal in Marcellus for auto parts, and then labor back up the four mile hill and hope to get to 2780 W. Lake Rd all on the same battery charge. I think with new batteries and fewer hills, the 35 mile advertised range is very possible. Two round trips from home to the office with an additional lunch run thrown in is about the max I've done. This is not such an inconvenience, as I can usually get a four-hour charge when I'm at the office and that works out quite well. The Village voltage is higher, so the charge takes less time.

We got along with one car and the GEM from June 20 until Sue's Fusion showed up on Oct. 1 last year. It just took a bit of planning, because you can't just decide to head over to Cazenovia on a whim without having the right car.

In a perfect world, the GEM would be good for my grandson Henry to bop around South Campus at SU. However, ensuring that the batteries aren't removed from the car when parked overnight would be a problem. They're pretty hefty group-31 size and have a lot of lead for salvage.

Joe makes his home on the Western Shore of Skaneateles Lake with Sue. You can reach him through the editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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