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Chrysler ponders the pod

Neighbourhood EV: GEM Peapod is billed as the top-selling US EV.

Chrysler unveils a new version of its GEM Peapod electric car

Chrysler logo30 Sep 2008

CHRYSLER took the wraps off a redesigned version of its limited-range and restricted-speed “GEM Peapod” all-electric vehicle last week, which is a produced through its Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) subsidiary.

Billed as America’s number-one zero-emission electric vehicle, the Peapod entered production a decade ago and is available is a range of bodystyles, including three passenger car derivatives and three utility vehicles.

More than 38,000 units of the “neighbourhood” EV have been produced over that period, for applications in such areas as military bases, university campuses and national parks. Top speed is 40km/h and range is about 48km before recharging, which takes six to eight hours with a 110-volt outlet.

Now with the tag “GreenEcoMobility”, the new-generation GEM Peapod has a new exterior and a redesigned centre console that offers iPod integrations and hands-free mobile phone operation.

11 center image

“We have evolved the GEM design language to better reflect its eco-friendly performance and its upbeat, positive image,” said Chrysler LLC’s chief innovation officer Peter Arnell, who led the design process.

“These vehicles use no gasoline and emit no pollutants. So whether it’s a trip around the neighbourhood or the drive to school or work, the GEM Peapod is the ideal way to contribute to a greener planet, and a healthy lifestyle.” According to GEM CEO Bruce Coventry, the Peapod is the first in a series of product launches that will “redefine the future of electric vehicles”.

“With this next generation GEM, we will broaden the market for this clean, emission-free technology,” he said.

Among the forthcoming models are a light-duty commercial truck and a larger city electric vehicle with more range and performance. Both are scheduled for production “within the next year”.

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