You wouldn’t know it, but until recently Chrysler was responsible for one of the most recognizable electric vehicle brands worldwide. But like the embarrassing cousin at the family reunion, Chrysler’s ownership of low-speed Neighborhood Electric Vehicle manufacturers Global Electric Motorcars isn’t something the automaker likes talking about.
Until today that is, when Chrysler formally announced it was selling its family of bubble-shaped glorified golf-buggies to Polaris Industries, Inc, makers of everything from snowmobiles and off-road all-terrain vehicles through to motorcycles and its own NEVs.
The deal is expected to take place in less than 60 days, with Chrysler marking the move from low-speed to “full-function” electric vehicles such as the 2011 Fiat 500 electric, despite it making an expected loss of $10k on each car.
Chrysler’s selling of GEM is yet another indication that the low-speed electric cars which have been traditionally found in gated communities may be about to lose business to full-size, highway capable electric cars capable of being just as cheap to run as the GEM runabouts.
But Polaris shouldn’t worry about buying a lemon. After all, with golf-courses everywhere from Florida and California to New York and Oregon needing new-lightweight buggies to transport golfers between holes and shopping malls nationwide, GEM should be making low-speed, narrow buggies for years to come.
After all, every shopping mall cop needs transport, right?