New GEM owner. So slow going uphill?!

We recently purchased a 2001 GEM, it has all kinds of fun cosmetic upgrades including LED lights, roof rack, 14’ fancy wheels, bluetooth music player etc. I enlisted my neighbor to upgrade the brakes to disc brakes which I purchased from NEV and that has made a huge difference. My concern is that I live in North County San Diego and I need to go up a few steep hills including my driveway but the speed drops dramatically to around 10mph when doing so. I am worried that when I have my kids in the back and paddleboard on the top it will be even slower. Can anyone recommend how I can make it go faster uphill?

Step one is get the lead out.
Boost voltage to 84v.
If you need more, big motor and controller.
@grantwest is your guy, but he’s 8hrs away.

Thanks for the info. Does that mean adding another battery? Sorry for the potentially dumb question, I really do not know anything about these but they are sure fun to drive!

Adding another battery works. With lead there are diminishing returns. Ideally, a lighter battery and higher voltage is the way to go.
Search Chevy Bolt battery on here for some reviews.

you need to look at your motor and see what hp it is . you can upgrade all the way to 7hp . Lithium upgrade is the best option but takes some time and education .

I just sold a pallet of batteries to a member, who is in Ca.
Is Landers near you? I didn’t look it up.


Hello all,

I’m the member who just purchased the LiFePo batteries from Inwo… and I’m about an hour North of Palm Springs, in the high desert. Regrettably I’m about 4 hours or more depending on traffic from San Diego, but your welcome to PM me if I can be of any help.

Thank you to everyone who has responded. I have a mobile technician looking at it in a couple of weeks, he seems to think he can program the motor so that it will have a little more torque and he will test the batteries and make sure they are compatible ones (fingers crossed), he says it should be able to go at least 18mph uphill which is an improvement to the current 12mph but still a little disappointing.

Please report back on San Diego County GEM mechanic you used - I’ve be interested in hearing about them and looking for a recommendation. For the type of power you’re looking for - you’ll need more horse power with your motor - check out the Ride for Fun Motors here:

Listen to him. Even a 5 hp can hold speed up most hills with upgrades.

Weren’t 2001’s stock with a 3hp and 8.9 gears? Then add in 14" rims and larger tires, I’m surprised it could climb a speed bump let alone a hill with 550lbs of lead batteries in it… :wink:

I was/am having the same problem and I’m fairly certain I need a battery replacement. I would love to go to lithium but don’t think I have the knowledge to actually pull it off.

I see it as spending $1,800 for a sure easy fix vs spending $3kish+ for something I may not be able to actually make work. And then tack on another $1.8k to just go back to the gel batteries.

Just an update… my GEM is even slower going up hill with the new disc brakes installed. My daughter ran beside me while driving uphill and she smoked me… I think i managed 7mph! The motor is a 5hp and seems to run fine on the flats, I will let you know what the golf car technician says when he takes a look at the end of the month. I’m really hoping I didn’t buy a dud.

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Please keep us posted. I’ll let you know when I resolve my issue as well.

What was the outcome? Or are you still headed up the hill?

After 2+ years, I hope he brought snacks.