The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently announced the purchase of 23 electric powered LSVs for use in 22 state parks. The department purchased the vehicles from e-Ride Industries of Minnesota and Columbia ParCar of Wisconsin. The vehicles have a utility vehicle configuration and feature enclosed cabs. Parks management noted the low operating costs of the vehicles and lack of air pollution they produce. Learn more: NBC15.com
Hindustan Motors announced the launch of their compressed natural gas (CNG) powered mini-truck for the Indian market. The vehicle is based on their existing Winner model and is compliant with the latest emission standards. Local regulations in Dehli regarding the conversion of diesel powered vehicles is expected to help the company sell 2,000 vehicles by the end of the year in the city. The Intraco group of Singapore will sell the vehicle in Bangladesh. The vehicle is considered a light commercial vehicle (LCV) and management expects the market for these vehicles to grow from 240,000 to 450,000 in 2014. Learn more: Sindhtoday.com
While last month I noted the closing of some electric vehicle dealerships in the San Francisco area, this month openings are the story. In Fresno, Ca a new Tomberlin dealership has opened. Valelectricar is the official authorized Tomberlin dealer for central California. The Tomberlin vehicles are eligible for the 10% Federal tax credit. Learn more: thebusinessjournal.com
Meanwhile in Charleston, South Carolina Current Electric Vehicles opened. They will be offering Korean made CT&T’s e-Zone and c-Zone vehicles. The dealership currently has a dozen vehicles in stock now and expects to carry up to 60 vehicles in inventory eventually. They have already received an order for 20 vehicles from a local tourist business and the local police department was presented with a vehicle. CT&T is looking into opening an assembly plant in nearby Duncan, NC. Learn more: Postandcourier.com
Following an ongoing market trend of manufacturers producing street legal utility vehicles, GatorMoto Utility Vehicles recently announced the Electro Bubble Buddy Mountaineer LSV.
With a 72 volt engine with DC converter to 12 volts, 5 speed electric transmission, front axle independent suspension, integrative rear axle with leaf spring and vibration absorber, rack and pinon steering with automatic rocker compensating function and front disc brake and rear drum brake with hydraulic system, this vehicle is the choice of municipalities, police, EMTs, fire departments and other applications which require more torque in the engine. It can also be ordered with optional LED emergency light bars. Other available options include custom graphics, custom body color, storage cover, quick charging system, DVD player with monitor, and back up cameras.
The Electro Buddy Mountaineer LSV features a Curtis Controller, Trojan 105 batteries, 12:49:1 axle ratio for climbing, AM/FM/CD with speakers, two-tone paint scheme, rear lockable trunk, DOT approved seat belts, AS-1 certified windshield, and 2 on board charger units. Black vinyl captains chairs with adjustable backs and adjustable formed arm rests provide comfortable seating for up to four passengers.
The vehicle has an MSRP of $17,900.00 and the 5 kW model is eligible for the 10% federal tax credit. Learn more: Gatormotoutilityvehicles.com
On Earth Day Club Car’s two millionth vehicle rolled of the production line. Appropriately, it was the eco-friendly zero emission Villager LSV. LSV’s are a recent addition to the Club Car line-up of golf cars and utility vehicles.
The ceremony was attended by Club Car associates, executives from parent company Ingersoll Rand and a number of local political and civic leaders. Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver read a proclamation that declared April 22, 2010 “Club Car Day in Augusta.”
The event coincided with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the global celebration of environmental awareness. In recognition of its commitment to sustainability, Ingersoll Rand on Thursday launched its Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES). The center will focus on identifying and implementiing best practices for the long-term use of energy and other resources for customers and communities.
Highlighting some of the many applications for small, task-oriented vehicles
Airport Transport & Utility – As part of celebrating the upcoming Earth Day San Diego International Airport recently highlighted their use of electric powered LSVs and utility vehicles. Their fleet of fourteen vehicles include 10 GEMs and 4 Taylor-Dunn vehicles in two and four passenger configurations, as well as utility configurations. The vehicles are part of the airport’s overall “green” strategy. Officials estimate that the vehicles save them 80% in fuel costs compared to using gas-powered vehicles for the same work. Learn more: Examiner.com
MichTrucks and JDM & Associates of Petersburg, Michigan have received a certificate from the EPA which will allow them to sell new Kei mini-trucks from Suzuki. The Kei vehicles have been gaining in popularity in the last few years, particularly as utility vehicles on farms. However, most of these vehicles were used ones imported from Japan. The fact that they were used rather new allowed them to circumvent EPA regulations regarding certificates of compliance for engines. The EPA recently closed that loophole and now require certificates for all engines, whether the vehicle is new or used.
The testing process for the certification took JDM & Associates over a year but they can now sell the Suzuki Carry, Suzuki Alto and Suzuki Every models. The gas-powered vehicles get 40 mpg and include a speed limiter so they can be made compliant with state LSV regulations. The vehicles are not approved for use on interstates.
The company’s websites promotes the vehicles as an alternative to utility vehicles like the Mule and Gator. The mini-trucks offer an enclosed cab and come with heating and air conditioning for a more comfortable environment in extreme conditions. Learn more: Inside-pr.com
Sevcon, Inc. announced that they will be providing controls for the recently launched Polaris Ranger EV, an electric powered utility vehicle. The AC motor controllers, branded Gen 4, are the latest version developed by Sevcon specifically for electric vehicles. The controls will manage the operation of both the motor and regenerative braking system. Learn more: Allbusiness.com
Here are a couple of electric vehicle reviews covering both ends of the STOV spectrum.
The first is a review of the Tazzari Zero, a high end, sporty commuter vehicle. Priced at $31,000, the vehicle is capable of highway speeds but has not completed DOT crash testing, and therefore is a high priced low speed vehicle. Learn more: Foxnews.com
The second review is of the Polaris Ranger EV, a recent entry into the electric utility vehicle segment. The Ranger EV is based on the chassis of the gas powered Ranger 400. It features a 11.5kw battery pack of Trojan batteries, a 30hp motor and a range of 25 to 50 miles depending on the driving mode selected. Learn more: Hortweek.com
Electric utility vehicle manufacturer Stealth Manufacturing is moving their plant from Louisiana to Georgia. Stealth currently has about 50 employees at its 82,000-square-foot facility at the Ouachita Industrial Park. The move is planned for June of this year. Stealth produces the Apache, Patriot, and Predator electric UTVs. Current owner, Greg Block, purchased the company in January from Louisiana based Bill Krutzer and Bill Robinson in January. Learn more: 13WMAZ.com