Story, Photos By DAN SMITH
The rain was heavy at times this morning as Dominion Electric Vehicles in Salem held its grand opening for its new lines of electric work vehicles, but I didn't see any lessening of enthusiasm those working it. Bob and Andy Kaplan believe they have found the solution to selling these little gems that cost about two cents a mile to drive, even if you can't drive most of them to work. You drive them once you get there.
For the past two and a half years, Dominion has sold GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) electric cars, which are both street legal and too high in cost for most of us at about $7,000 or so. The new lines--Club Car and XtremeGreen--have a different purpose, a slower speed and a lower price, but are no less valuable for what they will do.
The uses are widely varied and include security on college campuses, dumptrucks for construction sites, gurneys to take injured football players from the football field and a variety of other work-related purposes. The new lines will also start at about $5,750. They carry decent loads, go 30-40 miles on a charge and run up to about 25 miles per hour.
Says Andy, “A few years ago, we learned from our customers--particularly those doing business with the government--that they needed zero and low emissions alternatives to meet lower carbon footprint requirements. Our electric vehicles are their alternative. The bonus? Their operating costs are reduced as well.”
Kaplan says Dominion Electric Vehicles is the first business in Virginia specializing in electric vehicles.