Dan SturgesDan Sturges wasn't long out of the Pasadena Art Center's Automotive Design program when he began toying with the idea of a vehicle that would fill the transportation gap between two-wheel vehicles like bicycles and motorcyles and the omnipresent automobile.
Initially, that vehicle would be foldable, not unlike a number of more recent design exercises from MIT City electric scooters to designs emerging from James Dyson's The Eye for Why competitions. But the need to raise money from more conservatively-minded investors led to compromises, including shifting to a more golf-car like vehicle: what would become the Trans2.
It would be Sturges and his partners who, along with Bombardier (pronounced 'bom-bard-e-ay'), would stimulate creation of the U.S. government's Low-Speed Vehicle regulation, officially known as FMVSS 500. By the time the legislation became law, Bombardier was ready to bow out of the NEV business and Trans2 was about to declare bankruptcy. It would be to be taken over by a group of North Dakota investors who reestablish it in Fargo as Global Electric Motorcars or GEM, the most popular Neighborhood Electric Vehicle on the planet.