Only a month after the U.S. Military announced plans to purchase thousands of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), the Army has abandoned the idea. The results of a six month trial left Army officials unimpressed. Three vehicles were leased for $13,000 each by the U.S. Army base in Grafenwohr, Germany, where they were tested from April to October. One vehicle was used for inspections of trash sites, one was used for mail runs and the last was used for housing area checks.
Global Electric Motorcars, a Chrysler subsidiary, provided the vehicles, which reportedly broke down frequently and lacked the range required for their daily tasks. The GEM vehicles have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of 30 miles per six to eight hour charge. While these vehicles should have been adequate for the Army's purposes, they weren't.
That doesn't mean that the Army won't revisit electric vehicles. "I think the potential is there once the batteries get better and we have longer ranges," says Grafenwohr garrison's public works director, Tom Hays.
Right on, Tom. Right on.