‘Annabagel’ helps bakery keep gas expenses down
EL JEBEL ” The owners of an El Jebel bakery were determined not to let high gas prices eat up their profits.
Steve Smith and Susan DeCillis, partners in the Upper Crust, purchased an electric vehicle July 3 after watching their gasoline bill soar. Their bakery is located in the Basalt Design Center about 1.5 miles away from their store beside the El Jebel City Market. The short distance adds up during the multiple trips required between the two sites.
DeCillis said it was normal for her or Steve to make five or six trips between sites per day to deliver various goodies from the bakery.
“I’m going to bake a rack of bagels and run it up to the store then come back and bake pastries,” said DeCillis, taking time out one recent morning at the bakery.
Instead of guzzling gas, she now makes the trip in the GEM eLXD electric truck. GEM stands for Global Electric Motorcars LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler. The company touts itself as the leading producer and seller of low-speed, zero-emission neighborhood electric vehicles.
The truck is street legal. It reaches a top speed of about 25 mph. The Upper Crust selected a two-seater model with a flat bed, then added a service box to hold baked goods while in transit.
The truck cost slightly more than $15,000 and the service box was another $2,500.
Similar electric vehicles are becoming a common sight in Aspen. The Upper Crust has one of the first and definitely the most visible in the midvalley.
The electric vehicle charges by plugging into a regular electric outlet via a standard cord. The truck’s covered plug looks like a little button nose on the front of the vehicle.
“It will go about 40 to 50 miles on a charge,” DeCillis said. At current power prices, it costs about 3 cents per mile to operate the GEM, she said.
She and Smith also use the vehicle to commute between their business and their home on West Sopris Creek Road.
The GEM is as cute as it is functional. It looks like a bug, complete with eyes (headlights), nose (electrical plug) and a mouth (grill work). DeCillis plans to add eyelashes above the lights.
It’s only fitting that the Upper Crust has dubbed their vehicle the “Annabagel.”
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