Odd-looking electric vehicle gets the job done
That was one odd-looking vehicle parked outside Marcus-Boyd Realty in Federal Hill today. Looking like the illegitimate offspring of a golf cart and a passenger car, it was being fueled up through an orange extension cord leading in to the realty company's Light Street office.
A curious passer-by stopped to use his Blackberry to take pictures of the open-air, four seat vehicle, raising the curiousity of Marcus-Boyd broker and co-founder Will Runnebaum, whi initially thought he was about to be hassled by the city for some imaginary offense.
Once he determined the snoop was a Sun reporter Runnebaum was more than happy to rave about the electric-powered vehicle, which his company uses to give customers tours of Federal Hill and nearby neighborhoods.
Made by Chrysller Group Global Electric Motorcars, the GM goes up to 30 mph and has a 30-mile range on a single charge, Runnebaum said. The vehicle is powered by six marine batteries located under the rear seat. Unlike a hybrid, it uses no gas at all.
Sun photo/Michael Dresser
"They work out great. The clients love it," he said. "We certainly hope others will join us in this green project."
Runnebaum said the firm uses two of the vehicles, which he said cost about $15,000 each. He proudly displayed the the license plate designating the one parked on Light as the 50th slow-moving vehicle licensed in Maryland.
It's not the type of vehicle anybody is going to use to commute on the interstate, but it's easy to see how it would be useful for specialized purposes in a compact area such as the neighborhoods Marcus-Boyd serves. As Runnebaum demonstrated, the GEM has plenty of zip for city streets, and it can easily maneuver through narrow alleys.
Who else could use such a vehicle? Certain government installations and contained industrial facilities could be a good match, restaurants that deliver in a narrowly defined area, historic sites that offer tours, residents of small islands without major roads. Use your imagination. The folks at Marcus-Boyd did.
Sun photos/Michael Dresser