So you’re the 68th richest man in the world with a fortune estimated at around $12 billion dollars. You own a football club that spends £50 million on one player. Clearly you are a man of means, and you drive a car that matches your standing...or maybe not!
Usually found in the back of one of two chauffeur driven, custom-built Maybach saloons with bullet and bomb proof safety features, Roman Abramovich was spotted in something much less glamorous this week.
Looking relaxed in a GEM electric car in Cap D’Antibes, the Chelsea Football Club owner had forsaken his usual luxury for the £11,000 electric vehicle, which on the face of it is not much more than a glorified golf buggy. Looking at the open sided vehicle, it is clear that it possesses none of the safety and security features of the Maybach, but it probably fits better on his luxury $1 billion dollar super yacht from Blohm and Voss. Perhaps they threw the car in as a sweetener to close the deal. ‘Mr Abramovich, if you buy this yacht, we give you free top of range electric car and the European Cup’
According to the GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) website, ‘GEM Cars Ltd was formed in 2008 to meet the growing consumer, business and political demand for zero emission battery-electric cars, vans and commercial vehicles.’ The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chrysler group
Running costs on the GEM4 are claimed at just £6 per month for a user driving 5000 miles a year, and miles per gallon equivalent figures of 375 mpg when comparing the cost of fuelling a car versus the cost of charging. The cars are also exempt from congestion charging and road tax. Not much of a dent on your oligarch fortune then.
The options list isn’t as extensive as a Maybach’s, with mudflaps at £50 and a heater and de-fogger at £500 on the GEM comparing to the High Protection Guard B4 pack option on the Maybach 57 at £204,000. However, Maybach very generously show seat piping with Swarowski crystal trim as a no cost option. Phew, I was worried it might be a little out of my price bracket for a while.
But if you’re just nipping out from your super yacht for a quick morning coffee, and you’ve left you’re limousine in London, you can drive the GEM4 straight off the back and use it as a tender,it’ll stop you getting your feet wet. Now that is luxury.