GEM car as power source in Blackout?

I’m a longtime reader - first time poster to the forum. Since buying my 2001 Gem 4 seater this month I’ve been thinking that it might also be a good source of power during a blackout (think earthquakes here in CA) Does anyone have a recommendation on hooking up an inverter to the 72 volt string? Would it be a direct hookup to the battery series, or simply plug into the cigarette lighter. Any thoughts on how to do this, and what brand/model inverter would be welcome.

like this?

Thank you!

Gem 12 volt supply and lighter socket can’t supply the 150 amps plus needed.
Look for a 72v inverter.

Brother in law powered his fridge and tv off my
E4 for 27 hours during last years hurricane.
Just moved inverter from battery as they wore down.

I had an interesting thought. If you hook up a single solar panel and “trickle charge” the E4, then use a 72 V inverter linked to the entire group of batteries, then you would’ve created a solar battery backup system which would in theory qualify you for a 30% federal tax credit on all “solar and battery” and producing items.

Anyone else think this is a valid strategy?

Your plan to provide emergency electric service from GEM is actually good idea. You probably do not need 150 amp service. I would send you a Home Electrical Service Audit Worksheet, but not sure I can include here. Average home with electric heat is 110 to 125 amp service which is a lot more than you would want to supply through cigarette lighter outlet. Normal 12 VDC cable with max 3% voltage drop, would be 1-4 gauge wire. If cable gauge not big enough, 15 % + voltage drop will burn out electric motors, (refrigerator, air handler & etc). You can however provide minimal power to for refrigerator or freezer which requires about 5 amps for each. The problem with inverters is conversion from DC to AC consumes energy which is expelled as heat. Best solution is to have DC appliances, but very expensive, think RV appliances. Doable, just need to scale back.

I researched this a while ago . the dc to dc converter puts out 30 amp , 2 - 15 amp circuits , don’t know if you can combine . if you did you it would give you 360 watts or inverted a little less then 3 amps @120v. you would have to wire around the cigarette ( only capable of 10 amps) .

the best way was to use a 72v dc to 110ac inverter . the only one I found was expensive ., still looking for an affordable one .

a healthy gem pack holds about 7kw . so about 50 amps @ 120v depending on how fast you drain it .

so 5ah refrig for 10 hours . small portable heater maybe 3 hrs . household led light = forever.

I looked up the 72v dc to 110ac inverters on Amazon i’m the first one came up was $1000. Let me know if you find something less expensive or another solution. Thanks!

I am a brand new member; seeking help on the chattering of my GEM when decelerating. When I noticed the post on using the GEM as an emergency power source. I live in Palm Desert, CA very near the San Andreas fault line and have critical medical equipment that needs power in an emergency. I have a generator, but can not store enough fuel for a prolonged power outage. I recently purchased 4 150 watt solar panels, charge controller and inverter to use the batteries in my GEM for emergency power storage. I purchased extra battery cables to change the GEM batteries to parallel wiring (from serial), which reduces the voltage to 12 volts. The solar panels will recharge the batteries during the day allowing me to operate my medical equipment, small TV and lights during the night.


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I am am a new member too, if you search a bit should discover some ideas, on my 2002 replacing the input shaft bushing did wonders on sounds.

If you don’t find some thing, start a new topic, don’t tag on another thread. Most likely it will not be answered as it’s lost.

Love your use of the resource.

Good luck!