Formerly Global Electric Motorcars
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About Polaris GEM
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Polaris GEM is a manufacturer and seller of street-legal, low-speed vehicles. These all-electric vehicles can last up to 98 miles on a single charge and can be plugged into any standard 110-volt outlet for a recharge. A few different models are available from dealers across the nation, and customers have the option to add premium upgrades through a build-your-own vehicle generator.
Pros & Cons
- Sustainable driving
- Extra safety features
- Premium upgrades
- Build-your-own options
- Can get expensive
- Low speeds
Polaris GEM sells street-legal, low-speed vehicles packed with safety and premium features. While they can get pricey, you can choose your own price with the company’s build-your-own vehicle tool.
What is Polaris GEM?
GEM stands for Global Electric Motorcars, an American manufacturer in the low-speed vehicle category. It builds and sells neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and low-speed vehicles (LSVs). In 2011, GEM was acquired by Polaris Inc. Today, the two combine their strengths in innovation and sustainability to continue to push the low-speed vehicle industry forward with new styles and designs.
Polaris GEM cars
Polaris GEM vehicles are a leader in electric, street-legal personal transportation, offering a small, convenient way to get around. They’re similar to golf carts in style and size but are equipped with the safety features necessary to low-speed vehicle classification, like tail lights, reflectors, turn signals, speedometers and more. This means they’re street-legal and require a license to drive. Polaris GEM cars can reach up to 25 mph and can be driven on public roads in many states (pending local and state laws).
Polaris GEM vehicles are fully electric and put out zero emissions. For charging, they can be plugged into any standard 110-volt outlet. You have the option to add on accessories like solar charge or a battery upfit kit to make your vehicle more sustainable and efficient.
There are a few different styles of Polaris GEMs available, named for how many people they hold, including:
- GEM e2
- GEM e4
- GEM e6
Polaris GEM prices
Polaris GEMs are quite a bit more expensive than the average golf cart, but they have street driving capability and safety options many golf carts lack. You can also build a version based on the price you want, with upgrade options like heating and cooling, premium vegan leather upholstery, panoramic sky roof and sport tires. The build-your-own tool lets you see exactly how much your vehicle will cost once you add your own bells and whistles.
Here are some starting prices:
- GEM e2: Starting at $12,436
- GEM e4: Starting at $14,660
- GEM e6: Starting at $18,031
Polaris GEM FAQ
Where can I buy a Polaris GEM car?
At a Polaris GEM dealer. There are quite a few dealers across the nation, so depending on where you live, there’s likely a dealership near you. Check out the dealer locator on the website to find the closest one to you.
How fast does a GEM car go?
25 mph. This is the legal limit for low-speed vehicles. If you’re going downhill, you might gain a little extra speed.
Are GEM cars street-legal?
Yes. GEM vehicles are equipped with a long list of safety features that are required for street driving. Whether or not you can drive in your neighborhood depends on local and state regulations, though, so you’ll need to check to make sure you’re able to drive in your area.
How long does a GEM car battery last?
It depends on how you drive, where you’re driving and what the conditions are like. At their maximum, GEM car batteries can last up to 98 miles on one single charge. You can check out the website’s range diagram for more specifics.
How long does it take to recharge a GEM car?
Six to eight hours, approximately. This is the average time for a vehicle that’s completely out of battery and plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet.
Does Polaris GEM have a warranty?
Yes. GEM vehicles come with a two-year, 8,000-mile factory warranty. In some cases, purchases may also include a promotional limited warranty, but these vary in coverage.
Is Polaris GEM worth it?
Polaris GEM is a premium manufacturer of street-legal, low-speed vehicles. Its prices are pretty high compared to relatively similar options, but the number of features and benefits packed into a Polaris GEM can be worth it for many drivers. Its build-your-own tool on the website also provides a great way to customize your vehicle to fit your needs, including a price point that works best for your budget. If you live in a neighborhood where low-speed cars are OK and you don’t mind getting around without high speed, Polaris GEM might be a great option.
Polaris GEM Reviews
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I bought a 2016 Polaris Gem for 19,000. I knew it was overpriced but wanted my three kids to learn to drive on our private property before they turned 16. This product is the ultimate Lemon. Works 25 percent of the time and will stall at stop lights. Very dangerous product. Cart Mart their distribute can get nowhere with them though they try very hard. They have been to my property over 15 times in the last 2 and half years to do fixes. This company should be ashamed of itself and recall all their products that are electric for the past 5 years. I do plan to take action and write reviews as much as possible to save people from their shameful product: The Gem Polaris.
We bought a new 2013 GEM car from a dealer in GA. We had trouble with the car quitting and they sent a tech to figure out the problem. We were told that the batteries were not warranted, and with 125 miles on it we're told that we needed to buy 3 of the 6 new batteries at our expense. We sold it on eBay to get rid of it. In my opinion it is an old tech. Piece of junk anyway, and I would caution anyone to do their homework before purchasing. It is simply not worth the money.
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I started looking for a Gem Car in October 2014 and found several dealers in the Slidell, La area. All dealers had the 2014 Gem E2 priced at $11,999. Now in July of 2015 I am trying to trade it for a Polaris Ranger 570 Side by Side and find out that my Gem is worth next to nothing because all dealers now have the 2014 and 2015 Gem E2's priced at $7,999 with a $500 rebate on the 2014 ones. How can a company just drop the price of their product so much for no reason.
I now have absolutely no reason to purchase another Polaris product for fear of them dropping the cost of one at anytime they feel like it and again I will be stuck owing more than the cost of a new one. I think they should be liable to me for a $4,000 rebate on the Gem E2 to be used for the purchase of the new Polaris Ranger 570. Where can I turn for help in this matter? I owe $12,000 (original purchase price) on a Gem car that now costs new $7,500.
** instructed me to deliver the car to the closest warranty service center and I did. Three hours round trip. Went back to pick up vehicle and was disappointed to discover none of the electrical parts were installed. Dealer handed me the box of parts and sent me packing.
We bought a 2013 New Gem car from a Polaris dealer in Tifton Ga. It was a leftover but new car when we bought it in the latter part of 2014. It now has about 180 miles on it, stalled several times with my wife taking the dogs for a ride, and had to be pulled home. Polaris sent a tech out to inspect to our home, and told us that 3 of the batteries were actually bad (on a new car). We were told that the batteries were actually not under warranty, due to the date, and I of course said that it was either sold with old batteries, which it did not look like.
Polaris warranty actually states that the car is covered for 2 years, now figuring that a regular car battery is only covered for 1 year, then pro rated is expected. However, this car was purchased only 6 months ago, thus starts the new warranty. So far, Polaris has not done anything about it, we could probably sue them and win, but by the time the court date would come up, the car would be old and we would rather see it gone, rather than be reminded of a bad purchase. I have told the people from Polaris, that if the shoe was on the other foot, how would they feel if they were treated to this kind of treatment from their car manufacture. If I had this to do over, I would run away from the Gem car, and look at maybe a EZ Go or something. This is a very poor excuse for promoting an electric car. I would be very cautious in buying 1 of these.
On July 10th, 2003, I purchased a Global Electric Motorcar (GEM) from my local Chrysler dealer. GEM is, as they proudly say on their website, "A Daimler-Chrysler Company". No Chrysler dealers carry GEM anywhere in West Virginia, but my dealer called other Chrysler dealers and found a dealer in Virginia, over 200 miles away, who had one available.
There was trouble as soon as the car had been ordered from the dealer in Virginia. It turned out to be a 2002, and my husband and I had thought we were getting a 2003. But it was still a new GEM, and it had been a hassle arranging for its purchase, so we went ahead and bought it. It was supposed to have a range of 35 miles. Although it seemed to be fully charged when we left the dealership, it needed to be recharged twice on the way to our house. The 17-mile trip home took us over five hours, and we had to do the recharging at the businesses of friendly strangers.
Three weeks later came our town's annual fair. Since it was such an unusual vehicle, I decided to ride in the parade. The parade started five miles from home, at the center of town, and ran for about two miles through town. The car stalled several times just getting me into town and then kept stalling all through the parade route. In the end it broke down entirely just outside the fairgrounds.
It was towed to my local dealer, after much excitement -- the Chrysler Roadside Assistance people said I had to call GEM; GEM said they couldn't find an authorized repairer closer than New York. I said they could tow it to New York if they liked, but that the warranty said that they would be responsible for all towing charges. They did the math and said that my local dealer could repair it following phoned instructions from one of their techs, and that it would not void the warranty. We got that in writing.
It turned out that the motor had burned up. It took two weeks for them to ship my dealer a new motor. When the car came back to me, it did not run well at all. It stalled out much more frequently than before. Moreover, it took to quitting half a mile too soon on trips into town (10 miles round-trip), leaving me to push it home. That got worse. Soon it wouldn't get me the five miles into town at all. Finally it wouldn't even get to the head of the road (half a mile). The maddening thing was that it was inconsistent. It would seem to be running well, and I'd start to take it into town, and then it would just stop. Twice it got all the way to town and then quit, leaving me to walk home five miles.
I have an artificial collarbone and a bad knee; that's why I bought an alternative vehicle in the first place. Walking home five miles wasn't easy for me. The second time it stranded me in town, just before Thanksgiving, I had it towed to the dealer. On December 9th, it was determined that three of its six Trojan batteries were dead. The dealer's service person, Roger, asked if all six batteries could be replaced, since the others' reliability was also in question. To his utter astonishment, GEM not only refused to pay for six batteries, they refused to pay for three. They said the batteries were out of warranty. We checked the warranty. The batteries were warranted for a year from purchase of the vehicle, except that if they had a code date older than 18 months, they would not be under warranty. The batteries' code date was October 2002. This was December 2003, so they were 14 months old.
I pointed this out to Kathy Jurgenson at GEM. She said that I did not have any sort of warranty at all on my GEM, because I was the owner of a used GEM, not a new GEM. She said that my local Chrysler dealer who bought the GEM (at my specific request) from another Chrysler dealer was the first owner of the GEM in question, and that he had now sold the car to me, so he had no warranty, since he didn't own the car any more. And she said I had no warranty, and, not incidentally, no recourse under West Virginia's lemon law, since I had bought a previously owned GEM, not a new GEM. She magnanimously offered to sell me a limited, used-GEM warranty on the car for $125 -- a warranty that would not include batteries or tires.
I checked the West Virginia Code and found that, at least for the lemon law, the customer is deemed to be the first non-dealer to own the vehicle. I told her this. She said that that wasn't the way GEM did things. I said I would talk to a lawyer. She said, "Go right ahead." I noticed that the warranty on the battery said that Trojan Battery was responsible for enforcing its provisions. I decided to try talking to Trojan Battery first. Jim Lee at Trojan answered. He explained that even though the warranty said that Trojan would replace batteries within a year of purchase as long as they weren't eighteen months old, in practice Trojan had an agreement with GEM. By the terms of that agreement, GEM was supposed to put brand-new Trojan batteries in each brand-new GEM they sold. To encourage GEM to do this, Trojan required GEM to pay for the replacement of any batteries which were less than a year from purchase at time of failure but more than a year old.
I said to Jim Lee, "But that's not what the warranty says you'll do, and GEM has refused to pay for them." Jim Lee said he would call Kathy at GEM. That was last Wednesday; I haven't heard back. The batteries were almost certainly bad when we bought the car, and per Trojan's agreement with GEM, new batteries ought to have been put in the vehicle at sale. They weren't. The bad batteries most likely contributed to the failure of the motor three weeks after purchase. I'm much angrier at GEM than I am at Trojan, but, even if Trojan does have an agreement with GEM, how does that affect the written agreement they have with me? Unless, of course, they agree with GEM that they have no agreement with me.
As for GEM's stand, if GEM really considers me to be a used-GEM owner with no warranty, why did they pay for my burnt-out motor in August? No word was said of all this then. My dealer, my bank and my insurance agent all thought I was buying a new car when I bought the GEM, though the insurance agent was the one who noticed, halfway through the paperwork, that its VIN meant it had to be a 2002.
Well, I had to walk back from town five miles once (the second time, another kind stranger gave me a ride). My husband had to push the vehicle a half mile several times, and I had to push it a quarter mile myself many times. I also had to walk home shorter distances many times. And my vehicle caused major problems for others on the day of the parade, since it stopped the parade in its tracks every few minutes. There's also the cost of the new batteries to be considered, and the fact that I no longer have a warranty on my six-month-old bought-new vehicle.
Meredith should contact the West Virginia Attorney General's office.
Polaris GEM Company Information
- Company Name:
- Polaris GEM
- Formerly Named:
- Global Electric Motorcars
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