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News Release


Electric Cars to Reduce Campus Air and Noise Pollution

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 29, 2003) -- The University at Albany has received 10 pollution-reducing Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) cars from DaimlerChrysler and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The GEM cars are part of 130 electric vehicles donated to the State University of New York, Chancellor Robert L. King announced.

"The use of these donated GEM cars on SUNY campuses will reduce by thousands of pounds the emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other gases to protect the environment," said King. "It will also help SUNY control costs by eliminating the use of more than 15,000 gallons of gasoline per year."

"I'm proud of SUNY's and NYPA's role in encouraging the use of electric vehicles and thank DaimlerChrysler for working with us to improve the environment by expanding the use of alternative energy sources," said Governor George E. Pataki. "I applaud this effort and encourage all participants to maximize the benefits of these vehicles."

"The Power Authority has joined forces with DaimlerChrysler because the GEM electric vehicles are the perfect match for SUNY and many of our public sector customers. These low-speed electric vehicles will replace an array of combustion powered vehicles now operating on SUNY campuses," said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer.

"As the largest electric vehicle producer in the United States we're happy to enter the New York market. In addition to zero emissions, the GEM offers lower maintenance costs, greater efficiency and the ability to operate on narrow thoroughfares such as campus roadways," said Barry Carr, GEM representative.

The State University of New York (SUNY) is the single largest recipient through the NYPA/GEM donation program with 130 electric cars for use at 26 campuses; from Alfred in the Southern Tier to Plattsburgh in the North Country and Stony Brook on Long Island.

University at Albany is receiving 10 GEM electric vehicles: five two-seat utility vehicles and five four-seat passenger vehicles. With the receipt of the vehicles, the University will retire eight gas-burning utility vehicles, reducing annual combined emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide pollutants by more than 1,000 lbs. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 83 tons per year. UAlbany will use them for facilities services and repairs, athletics events and services, parking lot management and transportation of campus mail and small equipment.

The GEM, smaller than a "normal" automobile, is a five horsepower, two-and-four passenger vehicle with a top speed of about 25 miles per hour. It meets both National Highway Safety Administration and New York State traffic safety standards for use on private property and public roads with speed limits up to 35 miles per hour. The vehicles are equipped with three-point seat belts, safety-glass windshield, wipers, headlights, turn signals, and mirrors.

A joint effort between the New York Power Authority and DaimlerChrysler will place 300 zero-emission GEM neighborhood electric vehicles in service at more than 40 locations around New York State. Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, has established a donation program in cooperation with NYPA to help state and local government agencies, public parks, state universities and colleges, and other non-profit organizations use non-polluting electric vehicles in an effort to promote clean air and reduce noise pollution.

NYPA is among the national leaders in promoting electric drive vehicles and have previously placed more than 360 vehicles in service with customer fleets. NYPA electric transportation projects include electric station cars for commuters, all electric school buses, small urban electric vehicles as well as electric delivery trucks. It is the nation's largest supplier of electricity for public transportation, supplying the power for New York City commuter and subway trains.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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