$15,000 cart joins Kent State’s fleet

Jessica White

The administrative offices have a new gem — literally.

A $15,000 Global Electric Motorcar has been added to Kent State’s fleet of eight others. The new vehicle is primarily for the administrative and executive offices.

The GEM was purchased to replace an older, unenclosed model that couldn’t be used in the winter, said Debra Drake, assistant to President Lester Lefton.

“It didn’t have any way to protect passengers in inclement weather,” she said. “And it was hard to maneuver if there was any degree of snow or ice.”

Emily Vincent, director of media relations, said the cost of the GEM was covered by the Division of Finance and Administration budget. The cars typically start around $8,000, but the executive GEM costs more because it’s enclosed, heated and seats four people.

Vincent said the GEM is not for President Lester Lefton’s personal use.

“It’s used for escorting guests such as government officials or donors, or for people in the administration to travel to on-campus meetings,” she said.

Vincent said the other cars were helpful last spring during the May 4 commemorations.

“We had a lot of elderly family members (of victims) on campus that couldn’t walk long distances,” she said. “So the cars transported those guests as well.”

But on most days, the executive GEM is the only primarily passenger car. The others are used to haul equipment, maintain grounds or patrol parking lots.

All nine cars are also electric and much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than transporting people between buildings by cars, Vincent said.

She said they can reach 25 to 35 mph with no tailpipe emissions.

“They’re an excellent transportation solution,” she said.

Contact Jessica White at [email protected].