NEV Cruising Streets of Grand Junction

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They look like golf carts, they sound like golf carts and you can even drive them on the golf courses, but you can also drive them on the street.

"You plug it in just like a Hoover vacuum cleaner and that charges the batteries," says John Hesslink.

Hesslink bought his Neighborhood Electric Vehicle otherwise known as, NEV just over three years ago.

Hesslink says, "We've got close to 4000 miles on it and never been more than 12 miles away from home."

Neighbors know him by sight: "The little red car, the big guy and the big yellow dog."

But the big guy is not the only one to drive the Chrysler made Gem. Hesslink's wife Corine loves to drive the Gem.

She says, "I had some hesitations at first because I'm used to driving a big vehicle and my husband got me a big vehicle so he could protect me from the world."

Hesslink's wife says she uses it to go shopping as well as other errands around town.

"I can load six or seven bags in the boot," says Corine. The Gem cost about two-cents in electricity per mile, has a 100 lb capacity boot (trunk) and a top speed of 25 mph. The Gem however is limited to in town use, no freeway or business loop driving, but it does meet all other requirements.”

Even the city has a NEV that is used for parking enforcement, and St. Mary's Hospital set aside several spots for its own NEV's in their parking garage.

The NEV's aren't currently sold in Grand Junction, but several stores say they are trying to bring them in within the year.