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USA: Fargo man to sell Chinese electric cars

Mike Clevenger admits the poor public perception of electric cars is too often too true. The small, bubble-shaped vehicles often seen crawling around college campuses and airports are “more like a golf cart” than an actual vehicle, the former electric vehicle executive said.

FARGO — Mike Clevenger admits the poor public perception of electric cars is too often too true.

The small, bubble-shaped vehicles often seen crawling around college campuses and airports are “more like a golf cart” than an actual vehicle, the former electric vehicle executive said.

Global Electric Motorcars — the Fargo company that sold many of these golf cart-like electric vehicles locally — moved out of the area in 2011 when they were purchased by Polaris, he said.

Now Clevenger, who worked at Global Electric for five years and also owns O’Kelly’s Restaurant at 3800 Main Ave., hopes to pick up the pieces left behind by his former company.

The Fargo man recently received three Chinese electric car models as a part of a deal he struck with a Chinese company called Sunrise. He plans on having up to 5,000 of the cars built for him annually, which he tops to then sell to dealers across the states.

“I do believe that the timing is right for electric and alternative power vehicles,” he said. “These are very, very, very nice compared to the GEM cars we were selling in the past.”

The difference between these new vehicles — which cost anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 depending on size and options — and Global Electric’s cars is the overall safety of the vehicle and their available features, Clevenger said.

“If you’re familiar with the GEM car, you had absolutely no side-impact protection whatsoever,” he said.
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