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Accident Involving Electric Car on Columbia Pike

by ARLnow.com May 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm 3,763 38 Comments

We don’t usually report on minor accidents that have no traffic impact, but it’s not every day you see an accident involving an electric car.

A Global Electric Motorcars GEM e4 and an SUV were involved in an apparent rear-end collision at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Quinn Street this afternoon.

The electric vehicle suffered some cracked plastic body components as a result of the accident. There were no significant injuries reported. Police arrived on the scene to help the drivers exchange information.

The GEM e4 is a $10,000, 1,300 lb. electric vehicle with a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of up to 30 miles.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Geez, that is one very small car.

  • KalashniKEV

    I’ll bet it stopped instantly and the driver to the rear wasn’t expecting it. You could probably stop that car in 2′.

  • Sgt. Hartman

    It only sounds expensive. For example, you’ll never rent another golf cart again!

  • G

    25 MPH?? Might as well bike.

    • JamesE

      25 mph is perfect for the left lane of 66

      • Bluemontsince1961

        LOL! Ain’t that the truth! Or I-66 around 6:30 in the mornings from before N. Sycamore/Washington Boulevard and continuing until the exit for 267 West.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          And that is westbound, not eastbound.

      • cyclist

        I love riding past cars on my way to work.

  • KalashniKEV

    LOL… The Jeep gave the electric car the SHOCKER!!!
    (see decal on jeep)

    • wat


  • Fore! Has anybody seen my ball? Think I’ll play it from the manhole cover.

    • Bluemontsince1961


  • FrenchyB

    Glad to hear that Ed Begley, Jr. was not injured.

    • God forbid he would not be able to ride his bicycle generator that runs his toaster. He might miss breakfast!

  • Westover

    That is a Ford Escape, NOT a Jeep. Just saying.

  • Lacey Forest

    If the 2 vehicles involved are in the pictures, there is no Jeep involved. That’s a Ford Escape. Confusing a Ford with a Jeep. Oh, the humanity.

  • novasteve

    What’s the point of that car? Even a moped can go faster, gets 100 mpg and doesn’t cost 10k like that thing does.

    • The point is to sell overpriced and under performing vehicles to people who have gone a little overboard on a certain way of life.

      • dynaroo

        What’s gas selling at now? I don’t really notice prices. 😉

    • dynaroo

      A moped kinda sucks in the rain or when it’s 30 degrees outside. That’s the point.

  • bb

    That would be Columbia Pike and S Quinn St.

    North Quinn would be in Rosslyn.

  • brendan

    i didn’t know it was legal to drive around in a golf cart?

    • ontarioroader

      Yes, “low speed vehicles” capable of reaching 25mph are allowed on any road in VA with a posted speed limit of 35 or less.

      • PhilL

        There must be another set of loopholes that let it flaunt federal safety standards.

      • jjbug

        Any road? Or on the bicycle portions of any road?

  • Arlwhenever

    There’s more stylish all electric available for sale…


  • CW

    I’m a car guy myself, but even I can concede that the GEM electrics are pretty sweet. I’ve seen them in use for years by government agencies, parks, etc. Either the Park Police or one of the federal law enforcement agencies, I believe, has one that they’ve built into the world’s cutest prisoner transport vehicle. You can see them driving it around at big events like the Marine Corps Marathon, etc.

    But seriously, I mean if you live somewhere in Arlington and don’t need to use 50 or washington blvd, and it’s street legal, why not? Maintenance is almost zero and it can hold the speed limit in most residential roads.

    • JamesE

      I want to get one and drop in a chevy LS7

    • Why not? Because you might get into an accident with a Jeep (or Escape), or Mack truck. That’s why.

      • R.Griffon

        It’s only legal on streets with fairly low speed limits (35 and below, IIRC), ensuring further safety. The fact that it was hit by an SUV and suffered only cracked plastic should be telling enough. It’s much safer than riding a bicycle, moped, or motorcycle, and allows you to take 3 passengers plus cargo as well as doing so in inclement weather.

        Makes a heck of a lot more sense than driving a 2 or 3-ton hunk of metal a mile away for groceries.

        • LOL. Yeah, getting hit at 25 mph by an SUV is only going to result in cracked plastic! LOL This was a bump at a mile or two per hour. If this vehicle had been hit by a car or SUV at 25 mph the occupants would be slightly better off than if they were on a motorcycle. What makes sense is to be safe when you are getting your groceries. Maybe walking the mile to the store on the sidewalk is safer and certainly cleaner. Or, if the grocery store is outside of walking distance, I’ll drive my safe hunk of metal over there. Especially with the nuts on the road around here.

          • R.Griffon

            Obviously he wasn’t hit at 25 mph. But most people (emphasis on MOST) will try to swerve and/or hit the brakes before an accident. And your chances of getting completely or mostly stopped from 25 mph are considerably better than at highway speeds. I suspect that’s why in my time in NOVA I’ve never seen anything more than a minor fender bender on neighborhood roads, which are the ones this car is designed for.

  • Steve

    This is street legal? I am surprised someone wasn’t killed #fail

  • Chris

    Time to break out the emergency Lego repair kit.

  • CarsSuck

    This is a perfect vehicle for Arlington… short trips, plenty of low speed back roads. They’re all over in places out West and down South. Not everyone has the willpower to walk to the store or bike, or the confidence in Metro. These little things at least are smaller, more economical, and I’d rather be hit by 10 of these little carts before being hit once by Soccer Mom in her Ford Excursion.


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