September 24, 2008 A decade after its launch and with 38,000 zero-emission electric vehicles produced and in use, Chrysler LLC's GEM brand has launched the first of its next-generation designs - the Peapod. Scheduled for production in 2009, the low-speed neighborhood commuter can cover up to 30 miles without recharging at a top speed of 25 mph. In keeping with the company's "lots of love" slogan, the new fully-enclosed pod design uses eco-friendly recycled and recyclable materials in its construction and should keep a lid on road rage by virtue of its smiling facade (both front and rear), as well as keeping those inside the car happy with new ergonomic mesh seating and a freshly designed center console featuring (the almost mandatory) iPod integration and hands-free iPhone support.

GEM cars are street legal in more than 40 states and currently there are six models: two, four and six-seater passenger cars plus three utility vehicles. All share a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of up to 30 miles per charge assisted by regenerative braking. Recharging is via a standard 110-volt outlet and takes around six to eight hours.

The new Peapod design will be the first in a series of product launches. “With this next generation GEM, we will broaden the market for this clean, emission-free technology,” said the company’s CEO Bruce Coventry. "In addition to the 2009 GEM Peapod neighborhood electric vehicle, GEM 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."

The electric vehicle has also been given a new handle - "GreenEcoMobility".

GEM Peapod Specs:

  • Estimated Curb Weight: 1,290 lbs
  • Estimated GVW: 2,200 lbs
  • Estimated Payload Capacity: 910 lbs
  • Length: 143.6”
  • Height: 70.5”
  • Width: 56.5”
  • Wheelbase: 102”
  • Turning Circle: 32 ft
  • Range: Up to 30 miles
  • Top Speed (High Mode): 25 mph
  • Top Speed (Low Mode): 15 mph

Standard Features

  • Six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries with the option of six 12-volt maintenance-free batteries
  • 72-volt battery system with onboard charger
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Dual A-arm front suspension with coil over shock
  • Welded aluminum space-frame using custom aluminum-alloy extrusions
  • Front-wheel drive with speed reducer and integral differential
  • Solid-state custom motor controller with under and over voltage detector
  • Regenerative braking, motor thermal protection and top speed regulation
  • Rack-and-pinion steering