Can a GEM be towed?

Can a GEM be towed with all 4 wheels on the ground?
For example - if the GEM dies about a mile from home can I just have someone pull it home for me? Maybe at a speed of 15 mph?

hi Reo… my first GEM car demo ride was in a car a guy was selling… we left his house and the battery died within a couple of miles… he said he was going on vacation and didn’t have much of a charge in the car… I figured this is where I learn how heavy an e2 really is but the seller said ‘no problem… my sister has a rope in her car and will come pull us back home’… she came and pulled us back to the house… not sure how fast but don’t think it was faster that about 10mph and only a couple of miles… he still has the car for sale… I assume he didn’t hurt it… I could be wrong… maybe someone else knows for sure…


The shunt-wound motor produces little or no resistance to being spun when the GEM’s power is switched off but at some point it could begin to act as a generator and possibly try to resist being spun by the drivetrain. I would limit the towing speed to 10 MPH or so and distance to a mile or two just in case.

If the motor voltage gets high enough to trick the motor-controller into some state where the output semiconductors are conducting current, the motor would act as a brake and motor windings could be overstressed if the “plugging mode” were to come into play.

Plugging mode is observed when the vehicle is allowed to roll with the key on in Fwd or Rev - it rolls slowly as the windings act against the generated voltage and severely limit the rolling speed to only a few feet per minute. I don’t think you’d want to experience this on a GEM while being towed. It would likely put you through the windshield and probably damage the drive-line.

Be safe - Tow it slowly and for limited distances.

Thanks for the information.
I emailed GEM/Polaris and asked them the same basic question and they told me to contact a dealer - so much for technical support.

Not surprising. I called them and got the brush-off too. They don’t want to do any support and couldn’t even if they did want to. They bought the company but not the expertise, apparently.

my favorite parts and go to guy is Lee at 888-677-4961… he knows GEM cars and has not steered me wrong in the two years that I’ve been involved in GEM cars…

on another note with GEM customer service… I’m getting ready to put my car in car shows over the summer and wanted to know if there was GEM ‘gear’… shirts… coat… I found R4F has items on CafePress… but didn’t care for what they had… CS wrote back that I should… contact a dealer… I called Lee he said he had not seen anything but would check… he e-mailed me a few days later saying there was nothing at his dealership and no one knew anything… I next went to my local dealer who I work closely with… spoke with the GEM sales manager… nothing then the owner of the the dealership… he said he’d seen a Cotrporate person with a shirt and was on his way to a meeting and would get back with me… again nothing… I have designed my own shirts and a jacket…

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This is from the owners manual. Surprisingly there is nothing in it regarding emergency towing. It appears they expect you to trailer it if it does not move on it’s own. Like others said, I imagine low speed/short distances are okay.

This vehicle is not designed for dolly towing.
Any vehicle failures resulting from dolly towing may not be covered by warranty.”

I have a AAA card in case

[QUOTE=bob.peloquin;14783]Not surprising. I called them and got the brush-off too. They don’t want to do any support and couldn’t even if they did want to. They bought the company but not the expertise, apparently.[/QUOTE]
your correct about their expertise and they will lie about it. Barry

As for AAA or other towing, make sure you tell them the vehicle manufacturer says to flat-bed or trailer it only. Due to its narrow width, regular tow-trucks cannot safely tow a GEM.