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A ‘current’ vehicle – Electric car dealer wants Marco drivers to go green

Mike Harris with the GEM e4 at Veterans’ Park. GEM of Marco Island is the only GEM dealership in Southwest Florida. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
GEM of Marco Island

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MARCO ISLAND — Mike Harris wants to help “spark” a revolution in driving. As the owner of GEM of Marco Island, Harris is working to introduce the electric car to local motorists. His company sells the Gem Electric Motorcar, and is the only dealer in Southwest Florida.

The GEM is well-suited for local driving, and with gas prices climbing ever higher, can represent a saving on transportation expense, while also helping to curb air pollution, he said.

“You’re going to use the GEM car in situations where your gas-powered car gets its worst gas mileage,” he said, “hopping over to Publix or the club.” The GEM has a 25 to 30 mile range on one “tank-full,” or charge of the electric batteries, so any destination on Marco is well within reach.

That is as far as you can legally take your GEM, though. As a low-power vehicle, top speed is capped at 25 miles per hour, and the car is legal for roads with a speed limit up to 35 mph.In truth, said Harris, no one uses the GEM as his or her primary vehicle.

“My customer profile is over 60, with some disposable income, and most likely a winter resident,” as opposed to a year-round Marco Islander, he said. “But some old guys – and I’m one now, at 65 – want to go faster, not slower.”
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