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New hybrid-electric cars: GEM

Global Electric Motorcars, or GEM, a Chrysler company, produces a number of EV models — such as the e2, e4 and e6 — two-, four- and six-passenger versions — designed for navigating congested urban corridors or other roads with low speed limits. With a top speed of 25 miles per hour, they have a range of up to 30 miles.

Six 12-volt electrolyte batteries make up the power pack that requires six to eight hours to charge using a 110-volt outlet. There are also versions with cargo beds of varying sizes. You can personalize them with optional features ranging from a stereo audio system with CD player to heated seats and a tilt steering wheel. Sure they seem to be little more than glorified golf carts, but they are street legal in all states except Wyoming, Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. They are now on sale at dealers in 35 states.

MSRP: Starting at $7,395 for the e2 and $12,995 for the e6.

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