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Pandemic accelerates addition of electric vehicles to lineup

Shared from the 10/15/2020 The Denver Post eEdition


By Judith Kohler
The Denver Post

About 40 years ago, Dan Gallery and his sister, Debbie, saw an opportunity to expand the reach of the family’s Chicago-style deli by selling food from a hot-dog cart in downtown Denver.

“It was so wildly successful, they were able to pay it off in about three months,” Dan Gallery V said of the purchase of the cart from a New York street vendor.

More food carts were added. Gallery said his father and aunt were soon contacted by the food service operator at Mile High Stadium.

“That turned into their first half-a-million-dollar order and they realized they had to start manufacturing these carts,” Gallery, the company’s president, said.

Four decades later, Carts of Colorado has rebranded itself as Gallery Carts, Kiosks, Portables. The company, whose plant is in north Denver, supplies customized, portable carts for sports stadiums, convention centers, airports and other venues across the country and in Canada. The company has continued to grow during the pandemic in part by adding all-electric vehicles to its product line.

Businesses that buy them are using them at colleges and universities, including the University of Denver, to make meals available to students who can’t or don’t want to eat in the food halls, Gallery said.

“When the pandemic hit, we quickly moved to accelerate our production of the new electric vehicles from our factory in Denver because we knew they could help operators bring their products directly to consumers, while they were forced to adhere to new health and safety guidelines,” Gallery said.

The addition of the electric vehicles, provided by Club Car Golf Carts of Augusta, Ga., was in the works for a while, but the company revved up development about a year ago. The vehicles are self-contained and have equipment to keep food hot and cold and include a hand sink.

Gallery Carts worked with AYRO Inc. in Austin, Texas, on developing the vehicles’ battery and inverter system.

“They were able to design a lithium battery and inverter system mounted into the vendor box, where we plug in our equipment, that makes the vehicle completely autonomous from power sources,” Gallery said.

The battery provides enough power for about eight hours. The vehicle can plug into a 20-amp wall outlet, such as those often found in garages or used for bigger appliances.

Gallery said with fewer or no fans attending games, businesses closed and colleges holding classes online, there is less foot traffic for the food carts.

“We have had things to celebrate as well as challenges related to the pandemic,” Gallery added.

The company recently delivered more than 1,000 mobile food carts to the new SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, and Allegiant Stadium, where the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders play. Gallery Carts also delivered four of its electric vehicles to SoFi and expects to provide 125 more to the 60 already on the ground to various venues in 2021.

Judith Kohler:

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