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Developer lures homebuyers with electric cars

Posted October 13, 2008

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— The developer of The Villages of Apex is offering everyone who buys a home in the second phase of the subdivision an electric car as part of the purchase.

Apex First Development is giving away GEM e2 or e4 cars, made by Global Electric Motorcar, depending on the property purchased.

“Just imagine 1,300 electric cars instead of gas-powered vehicles,” Mike Howington, co-owner of Apex First Development, said in a statement. “The benefit to homeowners will be felt monthly when they save money each week by not purchasing as much gas. An average homeowner who drives 12,000 miles per year might save approximately $200 or more each month.”

The development will include charging facilities around the property to make it easy for homeowners to regularly use their GEM cars.

The 202-acre project is being developed near downtown Apex and will include a town park, fishing ponds and greenways.


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  • sggoodri Oct 14, 2008

    The industry name for these is "neighborhood electric vehicle" - or NEV - and they are very popular in neotraditional neighborhoods with homes and destinations in close proximity connected by low-speed streets.

    The main difference between NEVs and golf cars is that the equipment standards and state regulations for NEVs make them street legal on public roads without a special local ordinance. Golf cars require a local ordinance to permit them.

    All kinds of low-speed vehicles are street legal on ordinary public roads, but longer travel times limit their utility beyond a compact neighborhood. In a compact neighborhood with nearby shopping, getting around by walking, bicycle, motor scooter and NEV can be more enjoyable than using a bigger vehicle. I think the NEV promotion here is intended to encourage an alternative to big, noisy cars to benefit the neighborhood.

  • fourfivesix Oct 14, 2008

    just because you're not paying for gas doesn't mean you won't pay to power these or any other electric vehicle. you still have to charge it, which means you pay more on your power bill, and we burn a little more coal to cover it.

  • hikimnjeff Oct 14, 2008

    I love this idea, we have a second home at the beach and many people enjoy not having to hop in a car to zip to the store. We use our bikes but it would be fun to take "the cart" when purchasing groceries that are bulky! Yeah it's a little gimicky but those who don't think its a start to a cleaner and healthier living concept are probably the same people who "poo pooed" recycling ...now our communities pick it up curbside!

  • 68_polara Oct 14, 2008

    Thanks ebs81263 that was very informative.

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 14, 2008

    These are not cars, they are more of a golf cart than anything else, and yes 25mph is top speed

  • Mr William Oct 14, 2008

    What a hoot...the sponsored links on the page for this story are for life insurance and losing weight. Both are not needed as much if the home buyer chooses to walk.

    Here's hoping for a "walker's discount" on a home in the development.

    Let's hope the vehicles are kept off the (future?) greenways!

  • ebs81263 Oct 14, 2008

    I sell these GEM cars. They are what they are, they will not take the place of your automobile. You can take them on the road only where the speed limit is 35 or less. They will actually go much faster than 25 but are governed to 25 to pass goverment regulations that come into play (ie air bags, etc) when a vehicle goes faster than 25. Many universities, towns, retirement communities, hospitals.... own them and are quite pleased. They come in 2 pass, 4 pass, and 6 passenger seating they also offer a 2 seater with a truck body. They go about 30-35 miles on a charge, depending on the type of batteries you have(normal car or a gel batteries). They start around $7500 and go up to $16000.

  • HappyGirl08 Oct 14, 2008

    Looked at it online. Unless you want to tool around the neighborhood it's not practical. You could walk and not use up electricity. Seriously. Why doesn't this guy just take 6k off the price of the house, or pay closing costs? It will do the new owners a whole lot more good than this thing.

  • 68_polara Oct 14, 2008

    I hope you guys are wrong about the 25 mph top speed, if not why are they even allowed on the road?

  • Kelondris Oct 14, 2008

    If you look at the car's website, it give the impression its for golf courses (ie. the score card holder accessory) or for security patroling some property (ie. the LED light bar). So unless the neighborhood has a golf course or the residents are patroling the neighborhood; it's a waste of money! What was this developer thinking?! (Obviously he wasn't.)