Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs): Enjoy Summer in One of These Cool, Affordable, Earth-friendly Rides Like the Club Car Villager LSV

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With a sleek, Euro-style NEV, you'll avoid $50 fill-ups, cut carbon emissions, and enjoy driving again. Also known as Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), they are legal on streets with speed limits of up to 35 mph in most states.

The 4-passenger Club Car Villager 2x2 LSV is great for going out to dinner, zipping to the gym, shopping and just cruising.

NEVs are the automotive equivalent of the slow-food movement,” says Mary A. Sicard, consumer marketing manager at Club Car, the manufacturer of the Villager LSV. “They’re timely, intelligent and cool. What’s more, they encourage the slower-paced lifestyle

What’s the next best thing to biking? Driving a small electric car, of course. Now, a new class of street-legal electric vehicle known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) is making that easier and more affordable than ever.

Also known as Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), [http://www.clubcar.com/homeowner/lowspeedvehicles these sleek, Euro-style cars look more like they belong in Barcelona than Boston. But the zero-emissions vehicles can be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour in most states.

“NEVs are the automotive equivalent of the slow-food movement,” says Mary A. Sicard, consumer marketing manager at Club Car, the manufacturer of the Villager LSV. “They’re timely, intelligent and cool. What’s more, they encourage the slower-paced lifestyle so many people want, and they’re easy to park, even in congested areas.”

The Fun Factor

Stuffy gas guzzlers isolate people from one another and the outdoors. But NEVs are open to sights, scents and sounds. And they’re silent. No revving engines or backfiring.

“These vehicles are ideal for neighborhood transportation, shopping, dropping kids off at school, going out to dinner, zipping to the gym or just cruising,” Sicard says. “They make driving a pleasure, not just a means to an end.”

Go Green and Save Green

In the United States, it cost about half as much to operate a NEV as a gas-powered vehicle. “They can be charged through a standard 110-volt outlet, so you won’t have to pay $300 - $1,500 to install a 220-volt outlet as you would to juice an electric car. You’ll get up to 30 miles from a six-hour charge,” Sicard says.

Although people sometimes mistake them for golf cars, NEVs are often a more practical choice for neighborhood transportation.

NEVs vs. Golf Cars: What’s the Difference?

The term “golf car” is used to refer to many different types of vehicles, but legally a golf car is a vehicle for use on golf courses for the game of golf. When golf cars are used off course, they are classified as Personal Transport Vehicles, or PTVs.

PTVs can be gasoline or electric powered with a maximum speed of less than 20 mph. They may be driven on public roads as defined by state and local laws for purposes unrelated to golf. PTVs are not classified as motor vehicles under federal law and are not regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) but by state and local governments.

NEVs, on the other hand, are classified as motor vehicles and regulated by the NHTSA.
Here’s the rub. Original manufacturers of golf cars keep the maximum speed below 15 mph. Yet owners sometimes have their vehicles modified to increase the speed. This can have legal ramifications.

“If a golf car is modified to go 20–25 mph, it becomes by definition a NEV and is subject to the NHTSA requirements. In effect, many people are driving a NEV when they think they are driving a golf car,” Sicard says. “That can leave them open to liability and litigation, especially in the event of an accident.”

Here are the major differences between PTVs and NEVs.

  •     Where they are allowed. NEVs can hit streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less in almost all states. Golf cars are generally limited to golf car lanes or designated low-speed roads within one mile of a golf course, but this varies by locale.
  •     Number of passengers. NEVs come in two- and four-passenger models. Golf cars carry two.
  •     Speed. NEVs can travel at a maximum of 25 mph; golf cars, 15.
  •     Weight. NEVs can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Golf cars can tip the scales at 1,300 pounds.
  •     DMV Regulations. NEVs are subject to NHTSA and state Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) rules. They must be titled, licensed and insured, and can be driven only by licensed drivers. Golf cars don’t have to meet these requirements.
  •     Safety Standards. NEVs have to meet federal safety guidelines and be equipped with auto glass, three-point safety belts, turn signals, brake lights, a horn, halogen head lamps, adjustable mirrors, windshield wipers and other features golf cars are not required to have.

Obviously, a NEV is not right for a cross-country road trip, but it is perfect for hundreds of short trips each year. And, with more than 75 percent of all American vehicle trips coming in at 10 miles or less, these jaunts adds up quickly.

About Club Car
Club Car, one of the most respected names in the golf industry, is the world’s largest manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles. The company’s Precedent golf cars and Carryall turf utility vehicles are integral to successful operations at thousands of courses around the world. The company also offers a complete line of new and used golf cars, XRT utility vehicles and street-legal, low speed vehicles (LSVs) for personal use, all backed by Club Car’s 50+ year legacy of superior design, manufacture and service.

Club Car is part of the Industrial Technology Sector of Ingersoll Rand, and is based in Augusta, Ga. Visit http://www.clubcar.com.

About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® —work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Club Car has been one of the most respected names in the golf industry for more than half a century. The Club Car product portfolio has grown to include much more than golf cars, now encompassing golf and commercial utility vehicles, multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, rough-terrain and off-road utility vehicles and street legal low-speed vehicles for commercial and consumer markets. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit http://www.ingersollrand.com

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Betty Sosnin
Club Car
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