R4 Recycling GEM vehicle Charging station at the North Entry Parking Structure GEMs used by IET

Both the City of Davis and the Campus have a lot of Electric Vehicles and there are Charging Stations around town.

City Council representatives are each given a Global Electric Motorcars, LLC (GEM for short) electric vehicle as part of their compensation. Many of these vehicles are 2 or 4 seaters without doors. You used to be able to loan one of these for a week through the GEM electric car public loaner program.

One of the more distinctive is the Little Green Electric Car seen around town.

Along with the Xebra and Corbin three wheelers, one can spot a Zenn or two around town. The Zenn actually is a quite beautiful car, despite nothing being more beautiful than a Bianchi. They also are fairly normal looking, which is a plus I think in many people's minds. The first Zenn I knowingly saw was at the Whole Earth Festival, where Davis Electric Cars congregated by the CoHo. That was a very useful place for information on electric cars in all forms. They even convinced my father of the Muscle-Car era to buy a Prius. Well done!

The campus has research efforts into electric vehicles. These include the work of Prof Andy Frank.


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2005-08-30 07:45:06   I've got a problem with Electric Vehicles as all I see them doing is shifting the burning of fossil fuels and pollution to a more concentrated point, namely the power plant the electricity is generated from. I so far have been unable to find anything showing that electric vehicles really do produce less pollutants and burn less fossil fuels when this is considered. —ZacMorris

  • You burn less fuel and produce less pollution per car when you generate electricity at a power plant rather than burning the fuel in an engine inside the car. Transmission of the energy generated at the power can be done via powerlines (already built) and stored in batteries or by creating hydrogen and using fuel cells inside the car to convert it back to electricity (which avoids certain environmental, cost and efficiency problems associated with rechargeable batteries, but needs a new industry to make and distribute it). Plus you can use very clean and efficient electrical generation methods (wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear) that can't be used inside a car. — jw
  • There is a discussion about this at the Hybrid Vehicles page. To cut a long story short, a "contretated point" can generate much more power per unit of fuel than tens of thousands of internal combustion engines.
    • A WHAT??? And HUH?

2005-10-24 15:43:19   There was an evaluation I saw, and I can't remember where that evaluated the miles one gets from a pound of carbon burnt in various ways. Gasoline was the least efficient, diesel was better, but electricity from power plants was substantially more efficient in terms of power down the road per pound of carbon consumed. —RocksandDirt

2007-08-18 12:39:00   Can you own and use segways in Davis? —atwong