On June 3rd Miles Automotive is planning to unveil their highway speed electric sedan and announce a new strategic partner. The vehicle will be re-branded under a name other than Miles. Sale of the vehicle is expected to begin in 2010 and reach production levels of 20,000 in 2011. Rumored cost is $45,000. Learn more: Autobloggreen.com
Kymco USA has signed a multi-year agreement to partner with IndyCar as the official scooter and off-road utility vehicle for the IndyCar series. Per the agreement IndyCar Series staff will use KYMCO Super 8 150cc scooters and UXV 500 4X4 utility vehicles at races and their headquarters. Learn more: scooteringusa.com
ZENN recently reported that a third party had certified an important technology milestone reached by EEStor. Independent tests showed that…
…the main material in the ultracapacitor technology achieved relative permittivity of at least 22,500 over an operating range of -20 to +65 degrees Celsius. Permittivity is a measurement of how much energy can be stored in a material.
Per the agreement with EEStor, reaching the milestone triggers an additional $700,000 payment by ZENN and an opportunity to increase their equity stake. The next milestone is to commercialization of the technology, which according to the agreement, is supposed to start by the end of 2009. ZENN still plans to incorporate the ultracapacitor technology in vehicles in 2010. Learn more: cleantech.com
BG Automotive is now looking in Windsor, Ontario for facilities to assemble their NEV, the C100. According to the report, if funding can arranged, the company believes they can be producing vehicles within three months. Windsor has an existing automotive manufacturing base and skilled workforce that appeals to the company.
As noted in a previous post, the company plans to develop six facilities around the country which can each produce up to 15,000 vehicles. Other states being considered include Connecticut, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Georgia and Massachusetts. Learn more Windsorstar.com
A recent article covering a trade forum involving the state of Mississippi and the city of Changzhou in China noted that a Mississippi based company was looking to import parts for use in off-road utility vehicles. According to the report Bob Kirkland business development officer for Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems remarked that:
… a Mississippi company, which he wouldn’t identify, is interested in assembling parts that would be sent to it from China to be used in off-road utility vehicles.
One such company could be Bad Boy Enterprises located in Natchez, Mississippi, manufacturers of the Bad Boy Buggie, an electric powered off-road utility vehicle. Government officials from both sides are looking at the automotive industry as a potential area for increased trade. Learn more: clarionLedger.com
Continuing a relationship that started in 1999, Club Car has extended their agreement to be the official golf car and utility vehicle and sponsor of the European tour. At least 70 Club Car golf cars are in use at each European Tour event. Learn more: sportsbizasia.com
Miles Automotive has removed the reference to their highway-speed electric vehicle from their website. While the company still expects the vehicle to be available in 2010, apparently it will be under a different, and as of now, publicly unknown brand. The company will provide a progress update on the vehicle during this summer. Learn more: autobloggreen.com
Zap has announced the development of an 8,000 watt wheel motor which could be incorporated into production vehicles next year if funding is available. The new motor is based on technology behind the electric motor used in their scooter, the Zapino. The Zapino motor is 3,000 watts and seven inches in diameter compared to 8,000 watts and ten inches for the new motor. If wheel motors are incorporated into four-wheel vehicles, the transmission and drive train can be eliminated and more space can be made available for additional batteries. Learn more marketwire.com
Yesterday Polaris Industries announced the creation of a new On-Road Division with their Victory Motorcycles brand being a major component. In the press release the company does not provide specific information about other products that may be produced by the new division:
Polaris is committed to growing its on-road vehicle business through continued growth in the motorcycle industry along with successfully introducing products into other on-road adjacencies in the future.
Polaris is well known for their off-road products: snowmobiles, ATVs, and utility vehicles. It will be interesting to see if they move beyond motorcycles in the on-road space. Learn more: Polarisindustries.com
Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:
- Some cities are expanding road use regulations to include golf cars
- NEV road use ordinances continue to be passed by local municipalities although safety concerns remain an issue for some
- Demand is in increasing for allowing utility vehicles and mini-trucks on public roads
- Another state looking to adopt a medium speed vehicle law
North Carolina – Bill in the state assembly would add Currituck and New Hanover counties to a state law that allows golf cars on streets in several resort communities.
Pontiac, IL – Ordinance being drafted that would allow the use of modified golf cars as NEVs.
Normal, IL – Considering an ordinance allowing the use of NEVs on city streets.
Merrill, WI – City council passed an ordinance allowing the use of NEVs on city streets.
Colorado – House passed a bill that would allow NEVs on public highways.
Palm Desert, CA – Safety concerns have stalled a bill in the state legislature that would broaden the use of NEVs on city streets.
Minnesota – Legislation has passed both the state house and senate that would allow counties to permit the use of mini-trucks, but not on interstate and state highways.
New York – The state DMV issued an opinion that utility vehicles are not allowed on roads or ATV trails unless the law is changed.
New Strawn, KS – City council approved an ordinance that allows work-site utility vehicles and micro utility vehicles to be driven legally on city streets.
Cushing, OK – Passed an ordinance regulating the operation of mini bikes, golf carts, ATVs and utility vehicles on the streets and highways of the city.
Utah – Cities are debating allowing the use of mini-trucks on public roads. Since they are classified as street legal ATVs there is concern about allowing the use of all types of ATVs.
Oregon – Governor has introduced a transportation bill that creates a medium speed vehicle designation aimed at increasing the adoption of NEVs