Netherlands based Squad Mobility launched their Squad urban mobility vehicle last week. The electric powered Squad features solar cells on the roof, seating for two and a small, rear cargo area. The name Squad is short for solar quadricycle. The vehicle is designed for the European market and falls under the L6e or light quadricycle category. These vehicles are similar to low speed vehicles in the US. They can’t exceed 28 mph or have a battery pack larger than 4 kWh. The L7e category includes heavier vehicles with a top speed up to 50 mph and a 15 kWh battery pack limit. The vehicles have proven to be popular with teenagers and older drivers.
The Squad is 2000mm long, 1600mm high and 1000mm wide. It has room for two passengers and two children (where legal) if a rear bench seat is used. The vehicle features two in wheel rear wheel drive motors, regenerative braking, 4-wheel independent suspension and two portable lithium-ion batteries. The battery only range is 100 km and the solar cells can add 20-30 km per day. Other features include a tubular roll cage, 4-wheel disc brakes, a lighting package, and seat belts. A cargo version with an enclosed cargo area is available as well.
The company is clearly targeting the daily urban mobility market and offering the vehicle as a safer, more weatherproof alternative to scooters and electric bikes. Other advantages include avoiding road taxes and congestion pricing, easier to park and maneuver in urban environments, emission free and sustainable and more comfortable for longer commutes. The lack of doors provides easy and quick access. The base model can be pre-ordered for an estimated price of 5,750 euros ($6,365 US) or 6,500 euros ($7,195 US) for one of the first 1,000 Signature models.
This vehicle makes more sense for the European market than the US, although it could find some traction in gated communities and vacation locations in the US. The tighter quarters of European urban centers are ideal for the smaller size and lower speed. One question is how will they distribute the vehicles. It will be interesting to see how many pre-orders they receive and what their distribution strategy is after those initial orders.
The Teryx KRX 1000 is Kawasaki’s long awaited entry into the high performance recreational UTV segment. SVR analyzed several Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 reviews and the two-seater appears to be worth the wait as the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The Teryx KRX 1000 is in the same class as the Honda Talon 1000R, Yamaha YKZ1000SE and Polaris RZR XP 1000.
Very good suspension that soaks up bumps, holds a straight line and handles turns well with controlled body roll
Smooth power curve
Low power mode provides smooth and precise throttle response and helps make the KRZ 1000 excellent for rock crawling
Excellent engine braking
Speed-sensitive EPS works really well especially at low speeds but some riders might want more feedback at higher speeds
Good nightlines to driver side front wheel
Very good approach and departure angles
Roomy cab and adjustable seats can accommodate larger riders well
Easy cab ingress and egress
Looks to be well built and durable
Large cargo bed
Reviewers noted some other positive features including the styling of the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000, several easy maintenance aspects, the 31″ Maxxis Carnivore tires and the digital gauge with CVT temperature reading.
Some reviewers had negative comments, but they were relatively minor and most were not consistently noted across all of the reviews.
The Teryx KRX 1000 is heavier than comparable vehicles from competitors, about 350 lbs heavier
The vehicle’s initial acceleration was slow
Some drivers might find the steering wheel too far away when the seat is slid back
Some front end push in turns at high speed
Key Vehicle Specs
4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 999cc engine with EFI
Automatic CVT with centrifugal clutch
Selectable 2WD/4WD with locking front differential
FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, and 24-position adjustable compression damping
18.6″/21.1″ of front/rear suspension travel
31″ Maxxis Carnivore tires on 15″ alloy beadlock wheels
14.4″ of ground clearance
Speed sensitive EPS
Dual hydraulic disc brakes
Full skid plate
Curb weight: 1,896 lbs
SVR’s Overall Take
The industry trade publications are overwhelmingly positive about Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000. The machine appears to be well thought out with attention to details. If you had to pick one aspect of the vehicle that stands out the most it would be the suspension and next up would be the powertrain. The engine is not the most powerful but more than adequate and paired with a good performing drivetrain. The durability of the chassis and other components foretells more powerful engine options in the future as the product line expands. The Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 is slightly more expensive and heavier than comparable vehicles but should be competitive in the market.
Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Reviews
The following highlights are from the reviews we analyzed to assess the vehicle. The reviews are based on a Kawasaki sponsored riding event at Moab, Utah. The vehicles were tested in a variety of terrains.
My colleague Stephen Metzger discusses Club Car’s product development strategy in a new article. In particular, he analyzes Club Car’s partnership with AEV Technologies and the resulting offering, the Club Car 411 utility vehicle. Rather than develop the vehicle in-house, which Club Car has the capabilities to do, they decided to go outside. Is management embracing a new approach to product development or is this just a one-off exercise? In addition, an interview with Brian Rott, President Cart Mart in California, discusses how the 411 fits in the market.
Road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since June, 2019 are summarized below.
The majority of the ordinances expand the use of golf cars, LSVs, or UTVs on city streets.
Most of the legislative activity is occurring in the Midwest
Road Use Regulation By Location
Wisconsin – Title fees for low speed vehicles will increase from $62 to $157, similar to other vehicles.
Barnegat Light, NJ – The Council, after earlier tabling an ordinance that would allow the use of golf cars on certain city streets, have decided to not pursue the issue further. A critical issue was that the vehicles would have to cross a higher speed road, which would require an exception to state law.
Brazil, IN – Residents registered nearly 100 golf carts and off-road UTVs since an ordinance passed in February, 2019.
Wakefield, IN – The City Council is considering an ordinance to allow golf cars on certain city streets. The police chief and a councilman are looking at similar ordinances and potentially expanding the ordinance to other types of vehicles.
Paola, KS – Starting in January, 2020 residents will be able to drive UTVs on city streets with posted speed limits that are 45 mph or less. Regulations require that vehicles have lights, turn signals and reflectors, drivers have a valid license and vehicles be registered.
St. Joseph, MI – The city commissioners are considering allowing residents to drive golf cars on city streets in the Harbor Shores, Edgewater and Ridgeway neighborhoods.
Newport, RI – The Newport Jitney provides free, advertiser supported rides around town on two low-speed vehicles that seat six and eight passengers.
Glynn County, GA – A new county ordinance goes into effect in October that will allow golf cars on certain streets. The ordinance has different regulations for LSVs vs. PTVs. A key difference is that LSVs can travel on streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less while PTVs can travel only on 25 mph or less streets.
Perry Village, OH – The Village Council passed an ordinance to allow LSVs, golf cars, UTVs and mini-trucks to be driven on local low speed streets. The vehicles must be inspected, licensed and have certain safety equipment.
Oregon-based Arcimoto recently started production of their Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) to meet pre-order demand for 4,100 vehicles. Technically a motorcycle, the FUV is an electric powered three-wheeled vehicle that seats two. Many states have a special classification for three wheeled vehicles and only require a regular driver’s license to operate the vehicle. The current FUV Evergreen edition costs $19,900 but the company hopes in the future that volume production will reduce base model pricing to $12,000 and possibly below $10,000.
Arcimoto FUV Specs
The Arcimoto FUV is essentially a trike with two wheels up front and one in the rear. Each wheel up front has an electric motor. The vehicle has a 19.2 kWh lithium ion battery pack for a range of just over 100 miles and a top speed of 75 mph. The FUV has handlebar steering with a twist throttle and finger activated regenerative braking. Foot operated hydraulic brakes on all three wheels augments the regenerative braking. Other specs include:
Two USB ports
Lockable rear storage
The company is also developing a one person delivery vehicle and an emergency responder vehicle based on the same platform.
The Arcimoto FUV satisfies a need for a small, energy efficient vehicle that can be driven locally. Even though the FUV can operate at highway speeds I believe the sweet spot for the vehicle will be on roads up with speed limits up to 50 mph. Gated communities and vacation destinations that already allow low speed vehicles (LSVs) and golf cars will be a key market.
The problem with this market currently is that LSVs and golf cars can only go 20 to 25 mph and are often restricted to certain public roads based on speed limits and local ordinances. Classified as a motorcycle and with the power to operate at higher speeds, the FUV avoids this issue. This combination greatly increases the functionality of the FUV. The FUV with a speed limited setting can go from golf course to gated community to higher speed public roads. Therefore, the FUV is appropriate for a wider range of activities.
I currently see three main challenges that may limit the FUVs appeal. The first is consumer acceptance of driving a three-wheeled vehicle with handlebar steering. This is different than many consumer’s traditional driving experience. The second is price. The company should target the $10,000 to $13,000 price range to be competitive with LSVs, PTVs and golf cars. Although, the increased functionality of the vehicle is a mitigating factor that could allow for a pricing premium. The third is that the vehicle is only two passenger, so it may have limited appeal for families or larger groups.
The FUV is a direct challenge to the LSVs and more importantly the personal transportation vehicles (PTVs) that have become a key growth market for the traditional golf car companies. The decline and stagnation in fleet golf car market has forced these companies to target the utility vehicle and PTV markets for growth. (LSVs have largely been relegated to college and corporate campuses with some personal transportation use.) This could become the classic case of the outsider coming in and disrupting a market.
Where are the golf companies?
There is no reason the golf car companies could not have developed this vehicle first and they certainly have the resources and time to create a vehicle of their own. However, in the past these companies have missed opportunities such as the utility vehicle market for which they were well positioned. In addition, the FUV could serve as an alternative to a second or third automobile for running local errands or short one or two person commuting.
What Does The Future Hold
It will be interesting to see what kind of uptake the consumer version has. Recreational vehicles like the Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot have not completely taken off and remained niche. However, they are more recreational and less of a practical and green transportation alternative than the FUV. I think the delivery version of the FUV might be the sleeper product. Given concerns about urban congestion, pollution and sustainability, these vehicles could become a popular option for last mile logistics in crowded cities. The urban environment could play to the vehicle’s strengths of smaller size and zero emission powertrain while mitigating weaknesses such as limited top speed and driving range.
John Deere is recalling nearly 20,000 XUV835 Gator utility vehicles because the plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt and cause the throttle to stick. The underlying issue is improperly routed throttle cables. The recall covers models sold from November 2017 through July, 2019. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact their local John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair. The following recall details are from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Name of product: John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicles
Hazard: The plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt due to improper routing, causing the throttle to stick. This could result in the operator not being able to stop the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.
Recall date: September 4, 2019
Units: About 19,730 (In addition, about 840 were sold in Canada)
Description: This recall involves John Deere Gator utility vehicles with model number “XUV835” printed on the hood. “John Deere” and “Gator” are printed on the cargo box. The serial number is located on the frame directly above right front tire and begins with 1M0835 and falls within the ranges on the chart below. The recalled utility vehicles were sold in green and yellow, olive drab and camouflage and have side-by-side seating for two or three people, depending on the seat option.
Serial Number Range
1M0835ExxxM010001 – 1M0835ExxxM020413
1M0835MxxxM010001 – 1M0835MxxxM022741
1M0835RxxxM010001 – 1M0835RxxxM023115
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair of improperly routed throttle cables. John Deere is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries: John Deere has received reports of nine incidents. No injuries have been reported.
Sold At: John Deere dealers nationwide from November 2017 through July 2019 for between $13,860 and $22,930.
This is a large recall relative to the total sales of John Deere gator utility vehicles, even though the sales stretch over nearly two years. There have been a number of throttle related recalls in the industry the last year including a smaller Gator XUV590 recall. This and other recalls continues the disturbing trend of a relatively high number of recalled vehicles in relation to annual industry sales. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.
Kawasaki is recalling approximately 2,625 model year 2019 and 2020 Teryx 800 4×4 two seat and Teryx4 750 4×4 four seat utility vehicles. Dealers sold the recalled UTVs in non-EPS, EPS and LE trim levels. The left side upper knuckle joint nut could have been improperly tightened, potentially affecting steering control and posing a crash hazard. Consumers should stop using the vehicles immediately and contact a Kawasaki dealer for a free repair. The following are the recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Teryx Recall Details
Name of product: Teryx® and Teryx4™ recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)
Hazard: Incorrect joint assembly can cause steering control loss, posing crash and injury hazards.
Recall date: September 4, 2019
Units: About 2,600
Description: This recall involves model year 2019 and 2020 Teryx and Teryx4 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), models KRF800FKF/L, KRF800GKF/A/AL/L, KRF800HKF/L, KRT800FKF/L, KRT800GKF/A/AL/L, KRT800HKF/L, KRF800FLF/L, KRF800GLF/L, KRF800HLF/L, KRT800FLF/L, KRT800GLF/A/AL/L and KRT800HLF/L. The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors including: black, camo, gray, green, orange and white; and in three different styles: Non-EPS, EPS and EPS LE. The vehicles have either two or four seats, automotive style controls and a rear box. Kawasaki is printed on the vehicle’s hood and rear box. Teryx or Teryx4 is printed on the right and left front fender.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair. Kawasaki is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported
Sold At: Kawasaki dealers nationwide from March 2019 through August 2019 from between $13,000 and $17,000.
Consumer Contact: Kawasaki toll-free at 866-802-9381 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.kawasaki.com and click on Recalls at the bottom of the homepage for more information.
Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.
Earlier this year Club Car introduced the Club Car 411 utility vehicle, an all-electric vehicle for cargo services and low speed logistics. The 411 is the result of a partnership between Club Car and AEV Technologies, a manufacturer of light-duty battery-electric vehicles. The partnership combines AEV’s expertise in design and manufacturing with the dealer network and brand power of Club Car.
Club Car 411 Target Market
The Club Car 411 is targeting the space between full-sized trucks and smaller golf car based utility trucks. The partners designed the vehicles to have a lower cost of acquisition, operation and overall ownership while meeting the demand for clean energy vehicles. Typical uses would be on corporate and college campuses, in warehouses and as part of municipal fleets.
The Club Car 411 comes in three basic configurations: a van box, a pickup with sides and a flatbed. The vehicles have a curb weight of approximately 2,100 lbs depending on the configuration and a payload capacity of 1,100 lbs. As an LSV the top speed is 25 mph and it has a range of 50 miles. A 10 Kw, 13.4 hp AC motor paired with a 240A AC controller powers the rear-wheel vehicle. The six sealed lead acid batteries provide a range of up to 50 miles.
Standard Features & Options
Standard features include a backup camera, 7″ LCM display, reinforced ABS body panels and cabin heating. The 411 has a reinforced steel chassis, 4-wheel, hydraulic disc brakes and power assist steering. Options include fleet management systems including GPS and geofencing.
This is a curious move by Club Car. Clearly the vehicle fits with their existing customer base and dealer network, but rather than develop the vehicle themselves they partnered with AEV Technologies. I speculate that the partnership reduces Club Car’s development costs and associated risks. For AEV, the partnership gives them access to a large customer base. AEV Technologies also makes a three wheeled vehicle similar to the Arcimoto FUV. Therefore, if the FUV makes inroads into Club Car’s PTV market then they could have a ready for market vehicle to compete against it.
Yamaha Golf Car is recalling approximately 16,000 vehicles because of an issue with the USB port creates a fire hazard. The recall involves model year 2017 through 2019 vehicles including Drive2 fleet, Adventurer Two and some UMAX models. The recall affects both electric and gas powered models. The following recall details are from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Yamaha Golf Car Recall Details
Name of product: Yamaha golf cars, personal transportation and specialty vehicles
Hazard: The module that regulates power to the vehicle’s USB ports can overheat and melt, posing a fire hazard.
Recall date: August 28, 2019
Consumer contact: Yamaha toll-free at 866-747-4027 anytime or online at www.yamahagolfcar.com and click on “CPSC Recall Alerts” for more information.
Description: This recall involves the following model year 2016 through 2018 gas and electric-powered golf cars, personal transportation and specialty vehicles. The vehicles were sold in various colors including blue, green, red, white, tan and silver. The model and serial number can be found on a label under the seat on the left or right side.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the USB charging device in the recalled vehicles and contact a Yamaha golf car dealer to schedule a free repair. Yamaha is contacting all registered owners directly..
Incidents/Injuries: Yamaha has received five reports of associated fire incidents and 100 reports of a melted USB voltage-reducer module. No injuries have been reported.
Sold At:Exclusively at Yamaha golf car dealers nationwide from June 2016 through June 2019 for between $6,000 and $11,000.
Manufacturer(s): Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America, of Newnan, Ga.
Distributor(s): Yamaha Golf-Car Company, of Kennesaw, Ga.
Assembled in: U.S.
Recall number: 19-774
Yamaha recalled some of these vehicles previously because of an issue with the accelerator pedal. While this recall is large, given Yamaha Golf Cars’ total sales, it is small in comparison to that previous recall which involved 145,000 vehicles. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.
Club Car recently announced a pair of recalls involving potential fuel leaks. The recalls apply to a range of models and includes approximately 12,000 vehicles in the US and Canada. The first recall includes Precedent, Tempo, Onward and Villager gas powered vehicles. Fuel can potentially leak from an improperly routed fuel line. In the second recall, gas powered Carryall 300, Transporter, Villager, Streetrod Lux and Streetrod Vintage vehicles may experience fuel leaks during low speed idling with a full gas tank. In both cases, owners should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact Club Car for a free repair.
The following are recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
First Recall Details
Name of product: Club Car Precedent, Tempo, Onward and Villager model gas golf and transport vehicles
Hazard: Fuel can leak from an improperly-routed fuel line, posing fire and burn hazards.R
Recall date: August 19, 2019
Units: About 9,000 (In addition, about 2,000 were sold in Canada)
Description: This recall involves model year 2019 gas-powered Precedent, Tempo, Onward and Villager golf and transport vehicles, which are used for short-distance transportation. Vehicles with the following model and serial numbers are included in the recall. Serial numbers are located above and to the right of the accelerator pedal. The model number is the first two letters of the serial number.
BX1905-944274 to BX2003-039920
Tempo Gas 2 + 2
BY1910-953754 to BY2002-039481
Onward 2 Pass Non-Lifted Gas
BQ1924-981193 to BQ2003-041072
Onward 4 Pass Non-Lifted
BS1910-953760 to BS2003-041012
Onward 4 Pass Lifted Gas
BW1910-953767 to BW2003-041068
Precedent Villager 2 Gas
BJ1910-953915 to BJ2002-039525
Precedent Gas EFI 2P
DF1929-987941 to DF2002-039479
Precedent Villager 4 Gas
DJ1929-987934 to DJ1950-034968
Onward 6 Pass Non-Lifted Gas
AY1945-024474 to AY1949-033252
Onward 6 Pass Lifted Gas
AW1945-024474 to AW2003-041004
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact Club Car to schedule a free repair. Club Car is contacting owners directly.
Incidents/Injuries: Club Car has received three reports of fuel leaks. No fires or injuries have been reported.
Sold At: Authorized Club Car dealers nationwide from August 2018 through July 2019 for between $7,000 and $11,000.
Manufacturer(s): Club Car, of Augusta, Georgia
Manufactured In: United States
Recall number: 19-770
Second Recall Details
Name of product: Club Car Gas Carryall 300, Transporter, Villager Vehicles, Streetrod Lux and Streetrod Vintage Vehicles
Hazard: Under continuous operations with low speed idling periods and a full gas tank, the fuel vent can allow fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard.
Recall date: August 19, 2019
Units: About 1,300 (In addition, about 13 were sold in Canada)
Description: This recall involves 2019 utility and transport vehicles, which vary in size, models and colors and are used for short-distance transportation. The recalled vehicles can be identified by the model and serial numbers. Serial numbers are above and to the right of the accelerator pedal. The model number is the first two letters of the serial number. Recalled models and serial numbers include:
Serial Number Range
MC1902- 939803 – MC1936-003158
MK1901-938752 – MK1936-001620
Villager 6 Gas
SE1903-941645 – SE1936-003004
Villager 8 Gas
SF1902-941407 – SF1936-003040
Transporter XL Gas
SK1907-948159 – SK1932-994341
Transporter XLC Gas
ZV1908-949040 – ZV1928987110
SO1908-948943 – SO1908-948929
SO1902-939821 – SO1937-004374
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact Club Car to schedule a free repair. Club Car is contacting owners of the recalled gas utility and transport vehicles directly.
Incidents/Injuries: Club Car has received two reports of fuel leaks. No injuries have been reported.
Sold At: Authorized Club Car dealers and Streetrod nationwide from July 2018 through March 2019 for between $8,000 and $16,000. Streetrod branded vehicles were sold by Streetrod dealers from July 2018 through March 2019 for between $18,000 and $20,000.
Manufacturer(s): Club Car, of Augusta, Ga.Manufactured In:U.S.
Recall number: 19-769
This is a large recall for Club Car and represents a significant percentage of their unit sales. Not too surprisingly for the STOV market, the recall involves some variation of a fuel leak hazard. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com