This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 09, 2004

World Leaders Trade Limos for Electric Vehicles at G8 Summit

Photo of nine GEM vehicles decked in national colors, with the U.S. vehicle in the foreground.

President Bush's new ride at the G8 Summit is a GEM electric vehicle.
Credit: Stephen Morton

The leaders of the world's eight major industrial democracies are usually associated with black limousines and sport utility vehicles with tinted windows, but from June 8th to the 10th, they'll be trading their usual luxury rides for something a bit more down-to-earth: GEM electric vehicles. As the "Group of Eight" tool around Sea Island, Georgia, for the annual G8 Summit, the GEM vehicles will prove more practical than the usual motorcade. Each GEM is wrapped in the colors of the respective leader's country and can travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. But the leaders won't have to give up their motorcade entirely: they each get two GEMs, enough for a small electric-powered caravan. See the announcement from the Sea Island Summit Planning Organization, and for more information about the GEM vehicles, see the GEM Web site.

President Bush is hosting this year's G8 Summit, which brings together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union also attends the G8 Summit, represented by the President of the European Commission and the leader of the country holding the presidency of the European Council (currently, Ireland). This year's summit is focused largely on freedom, democratic reform, and prosperity in the Middle East. The summit will also tackle such issues as global peacekeeping, travel security, arms proliferation, global economic growth, expanded trade, ocean policies, global health issues, poverty, and famine. The White House also expects the G8 leaders to launch the "Methane to Markets Partnership," an effort to capture waste methane and use it as an energy source. See the Sea Island Summit 2004 Web site and Monday's White House press briefing.