The new SC-48 battery charger developed by Delta-Q Technologies in collaboration with E-Z-GO.
E-Z-GO has introduced their new SC-48 battery charger for for its 2015 model year RXV® and TXT® electric fleet golf cars. The high-efficiency charger was developed in collaboration with Delta-Q Technologies. Key features of the charger include:
- Durable sealed die-cast housing
- High frequency charger
- Charger adjusts charging performance based on measurements from the temperature sensor installed on the golf car’s battery pack
- Repairable in the field by E-Z-GO technicians and distributors
- Charger cord will release from the charger if accidentally pulled
- LED charge indicators on both the charger and vehicle keep customers up-to-date about AC power status, charging progress, charge completion, or whether a fault has occurred.
The following specifications on the charger are from the Delta Q Technologies website.
Maximum DC output power 750 W
Nominal DC output power 650 W
DC output current (48 V) 13 A
Estimated charge time at 75% depth of discharge 6.7 hours
Temperature compensation – Yes, third pin on paddle/ receptacle
DC connection resistance check – Yes
Nominal AC input 110 V
Maximum AC draw at 110 VAC 7.5 A
Learn more: Worldgolf.com
The 2015 GEM eM1400 LSV should benefit from the new Pennsylvania LSV law.
The Pennsylvania legislature passed and the governor has signed a law that allows low speed electric vehicles to operate on roads with speed limits up to 25 mph. At the discretion of local governments and the Secretary of Transportation, the LSVs could be permitted on roads with posted speed limits between 25 and 35 mph. LSVs would be required to be registered, licensed, and insured like passenger vehicles. Pennsylvania was one of the few remaining states in the United States that did not have an LSV law. The legislation would become effective in May of 2015. Learn more: Senatorgreenleaf.com
Despite weak ATV sales, side-by-side sales increased as demand for Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail models remained strong.
Arctic Cat reported revenue of $262.5 million for the fiscal 2015 second quarter, an increase of about 10% from last year. Sales were driven by their snowmobile and parts, garments and accessories (PG&A) divisions which offset weakness in their ATV business that includes ATVs and side-by-sides. The ATV business declined 4% from the previous year’s quarter and 10% year to date. The company fell short of their expectations for ATV sales but strong sales continued for their Wildcat side-by-side models. There was also a significant charge for a recall of some of their older ATVs. Some highlights of the earnings call as it relates to utility vehicles/side-by-sides include:
- 15 new 2015 model year ATVs and side-by-sides were unveiled in the quarter
- Demand for their side-by-side products remains strong driven by the Wildcat Trail line and recently introduced Wildcat Sport
- Wildcat sales also helped generate revenue for the PG&A business
- Management reports Arctic Cat is outperforming the overall side-by-side market
Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (earnings call transcript)
Comment: Despite weakness in their ATV business Arctic Cat remains a strong competitor to Polaris in the high performance segment of the side-by-side market. They are particularly strong in the trail sub-segment where the vehicles are narrower to allow access to legacy ATV trails.
RZR XP 1000’s like the new 2015 RZR XP 1000 EPS Desert Edition helped drive sales.
Polaris reported an 18% year over year increase in revenue for third quarter 2014 driven by increases in their motorcycle, PG&A and Off-road Vehicle (ORV) divisions. ORV which includes side-by-sides and ATVs recorded a 17% increase. With another strong quarter, management raised their guidance for full-year results in 2014. Some highlights of the earnings call as it relates to Small, Task-Oriented Vehicles include:
- ORV revenue up 14% year-to-date
- Market share gains in the quarter for both side-by-sides and ATVs in North America adds to their #1 positions
- ORV revenue was driven by side-by-sides that outpaced the industry believed to be growing at 10%
- The 2 and 4 seat RZR XP 1000’s as well as the RZR 900 Trail are selling well
- In the commercial UTV segment Brutus retail sales continue to grow sequentially and year-over-year for both Polaris and Bobcat
- Commercial national accounts and fleet sales were strong
- The Gravely Atlas UTV was launched in the quarter
- Defense related ORV revenue was flat for the quarter but up 25% year-to-date with international sales of the MRZR contributing
- The Small Vehicle division reported an 8% revenue increase in the quarter due to GEM and Aixam
- Year-to-date Small Vehicle revenue is up 52%
- GEM reported retail sales increase of 20% on action in B2B and GSA sales
- While Aixam grew despite a weakening European market, Goupil revenue decreased with softness in the French economy, their major market
- The Opole, Poland factory opened and will produce ORV and other products for the European and Middle East markets
- International sales were helped by strong ORV sales in India and Australia
- Currency issues provided some headwind in foreign markets
Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (earnings call transcript)
Comments: Despite some macro economic issues the Polaris juggernaut keeps on rolling as they continue to add market share despite increased competition in the side-by-side and ATV markets. Their large market share and subsequent production volume gives them an advantage in driving down vehicle costs and provides funding for their robust R&D budget and new model pipeline. The large number of models they market allows them to target specific sub-segments with specific vehicle capabilities and characteristics. In turn this makes it more difficult for competitors to match up on a vehicle to vehicle basis in each sub-segment.
All the two and four passenger versions (shown here) of the Honda 2014 Pioneer 700 are being recalled.
Honda announced a recall of all models of the 2014 Honda Pioneer 700 utility vehicle because of an issue with debris and vegetation accumulation on the middle skid plate. The buildup can come in contact with the exhaust system resulting in smoke or fire. There have been 10 reports of incidents involving fires but no injuries have been reported. The recall involves both two and four passenger versions sold from August 2013 through September 2014. The following vehicle models and serial numbers are affected by the recall:
Model Number Serial Number Range (All begin with 1HF) Number of Seats
SXS 700M2 2AC VE0225E4000006 to VE022XE4006304 2
SXS 700M2 4AC VE0284E4000003 to VE0284E4001202 2
SXS 700M4 AC VE0204E4000013 to VE020XE4006849 4
SXS 700M4 3AC VE0268E4000004 to VE0269E4001503 4
Owners should immediately stop using the recalled vehicle and take it to an authorized Honda dealer to have the original middle skid plate removed and an updated middle skid plate installed free of charge. Learn more: CPSC.gov
Comment: This is a large recall, about four to five times the number of utility vehicles that we typically see recalled. This is also a blow to Honda in their efforts to become more competitive in the UTV market. The Pioneer models, both the 700 and the 500 which were not recalled, were their latest entry into the market. The introduction of the Pioneer UTVs represented a renewed commitment and dedication of resources by Honda towards the side-by-side market.
The DAGOR during testing in challenging terrain.
The DAGOR loaded with troops and their gear.
A rear view of the DAGOR loaded with troops and their gear.
Polaris Industries will be debuting DAGOR, their new ultra light vehicle for defense applications at the 2014 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, in Washington, D.C. , Oct. 13-15. The vehicle is designed to provide rapid air transportability, payload capabilities and advanced mobility in off-road conditions to meet a wide range of expeditionary missions. DAGOR can carry 3,250 lbs. of payload or nine infrantryman and incorporates off-the-shelf components such as a J98 diesel engine for easier maintenance in combat operations. The open design of the cargo bed maximizes loading space, flexibility and access for mission-essential equipment. The weight and dimensions of the vehicle are designed to increase range and facilitate rapid air transport. The DAGOR has been certified for CH-47 Chinook Internal Air Transport (IAT), air drop, and UH-60 Black Hawk Sling Load. Learn more: Seekingalpha.com
Comment: Growing revenue in military applications has been a strategic goal for Polaris for several years. A sizable portion of their military sales have been for US special forces and those of allied countries. In the past they have sold smaller vehicles whose design has been based in part on existing ATV and UTV technology. The DAGOR represents a significant step up in vehicle size and represents a new vehicle segment. This may portend a movement towards larger vehicles, although Polaris Defense vehicles to date have put an emphasis on mobility and lightweight vehicles. Moving to even larger vehicles than the DAGOR would likely mean a shift to different military applications. Another possibility is the transitioning of the DAGOR or some variation thereof into the civilian market. Some of the potential applications that come to mind are for use in disaster zones, forest fire fighting, logging and off-road work environments such as logging, pipelines or gas/oilfields.