by Brianna Crandall — January 16, 2017 — When it came time for the Kennedy Space Center to upgrade its electric vehicle fleet, the Center chose new Polaris GEM electric vehicles. Nearly 50 new GEM vehicles were selected to be used for security, facilities maintenance and landscaping tasks around the Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Delaware North, management company for the Kennedy Space Center, had counted on GEM vehicles in the past and was impressed by the new design, street-legal safety features and state-of-the-art technology. With their rugged build, the ability to haul over 1,400 pounds, and the wide variety of accessories, these electric vehicles deliver a smart alternative to traditional transportation options, says Polaris.
Polaris Fleet Solutions technology played a big part in the Kennedy Space Center’s decision. This new tool allows GEM owners to track vehicle locations, optimize vehicle and fleet performance, and manage vehicles by location, time or operator.
The Polaris GEM reportedly has more built-in comfort and street-legal safety features than a golf cart, and is more maneuverable, cost-efficient and sustainable than a truck or van. It offers a spacious interior with a compact footprint and quiet electric power for low-cost, low maintenance operation. The newest version of the GEM line took the vehicles that facilities managers and others already counted on to improve productivity and efficiency, and improved the ergonomics, ride and range, while adding more comfort and safety features.
Whether moving people or cargo, GEM electric vehicles are engineered to get the job done easily and efficiently. Built with quality and durability in mind, GEM features an aluminum chassis that passes SAE roof-crush-test standards, front-wheel disc brakes, an automotive-style suspension and a variety of maintenance-free battery options. The result is a reliable, zero-emissions vehicle with a smoother ride, says Polaris.
GEM electric vehicles provide the versatility to go anywhere — indoors, outdoors, streets or sidewalks. GEM’s premium safety features, including high-back forward-facing seats, three-point seat belts, an automotive glass windshield, and LED signal lights provide drivers and riders increased confidence. With a maximum speed of 25 mph, GEM vehicles are legal to drive on streets in most states and provinces, typically on roads marked up to 35 mph. The optional RiderX app provides free access to maps of nearby residential roads for trip planning, and helps track the vehicle’s performance.
The Polaris GEMs feature Smart Power, which matches the power to the task, combining an efficient electrical system and a right-sized motor, with the ability to choose the best combination of battery and charge options. In addition to more traditional battery options, GEM is said to be the first vehicle in the industry to offer a warranty-backed lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, which is engineered to dramatically improve the distance covered (up to three times the range), and multiply by two to three times the battery cycles. One battery may potentially last the life of the vehicle.
In addition to battery options, all GEM vehicles are fully customizable to enhance comfort, convenience and productivity. In-windshield defrost, electronic power steering, integrated doors and a full range of rear carrier options are just a few of the factory-installed and warranty backed options available with a GEM. The GEM eL XD is reportedly the first vehicle of its kind to offer a recessed bed option to lower loading height and maximize hauling capability.
With its rugged build, the ability to haul over 1,400 pounds, and the wide variety of accessories, this vehicle delivers a smart alternative to traditional transportation options, says Polaris. For more information on Polaris GEM electric vehicles, visit the Web site.