Nov. 27, 2006: Green Bay Press-Gazette—Villages Undecided on Electric Car Road Rules

Summary: "Small-business owner Tracy Crawford trims her overhead any way she can. With two businesses — a teddy bear clothing importing company and an errand-running service — she needs to make lots of cross-town trips. For her, cutting her fuel usage results in major savings.

In the last six months, she’s spent a total of $20 on gasoline for her vehicles.

Crawford owns a Toyota Prius — a gas-electric hybrid — a moped and a DaimlerChrysler GEM, an electric vehicle that runs on batteries.

‘I really love it,’ Crawford said of her Global Electric Motor, or GEM, car. ‘It’s fun to drive. Everywhere I go I feel like a celebrity — people stop and talk to me about it.’

But there’s a problem. Crawford can’t legally drive it everywhere she’d like."

Wisconsin’s difficulty with these little gas-savers is probably shared by many other states. The tiny electric cars are limited by governors to about 35 mph, so they should be allowed on roads with amenable speed limits. But then questions arise about how to license, tax, and insure them, whether to charge them for parking, and what other rules they need to follow.

Policymakers, whether national or local, should work to ensure that being green is easier than polluting.

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