Kawasaki Adds Special Graphic Edition Packages for Teryx 750 FI 4×4

Kawasaki has added four special edition graphic packages for their 2010 Teryx 750 FI 4×4.

These unique new immersion graphics packages offer a unique diamond plate pattern that is chemically bonded to colored basecoat paint.  The finished product offers a durable, high-gloss, automotive quality surface that looks similar to anodized aluminum diamond plate, but is actually smooth to the touch and easy to clean.

The graphic packages are available in Diamond Blue, Diamond Red, Diamond Silver and Diamond Black and increases the color options for the Teryx recreation utility vehicle to ten in total.  Learn more:  UTVWeekly.com

Club Car Increasing Vehicle Prices 2.5%

Driven by sharp increases in commodity prices, Club Car announced that prices 2010 for golf cars and utility vehicles will increase about 2.5% immediately.  The main commodities contributing to the price increase are lead, copper and aluminum.  According to the report Club Car annually uses approximately 20 million pounds of lead for batteries, eight to 10 million pounds of aluminum for vehicle chassis and significant amounts of copper for wiring in electric motors and other components.  In the last year commodity costs have increased an estimated 35% for lead, 50% for copper and 15% for aluminum.  Learn more:  Blogs.augusta.com-Scuttlebiz

Comment: It will be interesting to see if E-Z-Go or other manufacturers, especially electric vehicle manufacturers follow suit.  If the economy improves over the next year it is likely to drive demand for these commodities even higher. – Marc Cesare

Aptera Facing Difficulties

Recent reports indicate that three-wheeled, electric vehicle maker Aptera is having development and financial difficulties. The founders have reportedly been pushed out and staff has been cut. Changes to the vehicle design to widen the vehicle’s appeal has delayed the launch date significantly and created more capital demands in the middle of a poor investment climate. Loans from the US government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program is potentially a source for cash infusion. Learn more: Autogloggreen

Think Looking At Three States For Electric Vehicle Plant

Indiana, Michigan and Oregon have made Think’s final list of states for their electric vehicle plant.  The company is also in the early stages of applying for loans from the US government under what is believed to be the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.

Indiana could be the front runner among the states since battery manufacturer Ener1, which is a battery supplier for Think and owns a 31% stake in the company, will be producing the batteries in Indiana.  Another Think battery supplier, A123 Systems, is located in Michigan.  The weight of the vehicle battery packs makes shipping distance and costs a significant issue when deciding plant location.  Learn more:  Earth2tech.com

More Bad Boy Buggy News

Bad Boy Enterprises just announced that three of their vehicles, the Classic, XT and Stretch, are now qualified by the IRS as street-legal LSVs.  Each vehicle is eligible for a federal tax credit of $5,590.  Management reports that tax credit driven sales have, in part, caused them to increase their projected annual sales from $17 million to $20 million.  In addition, they report a 1,000 orders for their new XT vehicle and a positive response from their five-store market test with Bass Pro shops.  The retailer wants to roll-out the program with an additional 15 stores in the next three months.  Bad Boy is also talking with retailer Cabela’s about selling their vehicles.  Learn more:  Natchezdemocrat.com

Electric Vehicles International Opens US Plant

Electric Vehicles International opened up their new manufacturing facility in Stockton, CA yesterday.  EVI will design and assemble zero-emission, all-electric, medium-duty delivery vehicles and light-duty vehicles using EVI electric motors and controllers made at the location.  The Stockton location will also serve as the company’s world headquarters, previously located in Mexico.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger participated in the opening ceremonies.

The medium-duty vehicles are being produced in partnership with Freightliner Custom Chassis and EVI plans to ship 1,000 of the all-electric trucks in 2010.  The vehicles will cost $120,000 to $180,000 and have ranges of 60, 80 and 115 miles depending on the size of the lithium-ion battery pack chosen. The company also plans to enter the plug-in hybrid business, and possibly perform electric conversions of school buses and port equipment as well.  Learn more:  Collisionconcierge.com

Club Car Announces First Low-Speed Passenger Vehicle

From Club Car’s Press Release

Club Car announced that its first street-legal low-speed passenger vehicle will begin shipping this week, giving businesses and consumers time to take advantage of federal tax credits that amount to nearly 50 percent of the suggested retail price for the new Villager 2+2.
The zero-emission LSV from Augusta, Ga.-based Club Car carries up to four passengers and builds on the Villager’s history of providing dependable, energy-efficient transportation for thousands of businesses and consumers worldwide.
Customers have until the end of the year to take advantage of a federal tax credit – based on the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The credit is equal to the sum of the base credit of $2,500 plus $417 for each kilowat hour of battery capacity in excess of four kilowat hours. For those who qualify, the credit would amount to $4,168, almost half the base price of the $8,876 Villager 2+2. Some states have additional tax credits that can lower the purchase price further. The credit amount is scheduled to reduce to a minimum of 10 percent of the MSRP at the end of 2009.
LSVs are the fastest-growing segment in what is known as the small task-oriented vehicle (STOV) market, increasing by nearly 50 percent in the last year, according to International Market Solutions, a NY-based research firm.
According to a study conducted by Green Car Institute, a nonprofit California research corporation, consumers and businesses are using LSVs instead of cars or trucks with gasoline internal combustion engines for daily short-distance trips and for cargo transport. In the same survey, LSV owners said they purchased the nimble street-legal vehicles because they offer an environmentally friendly mode of travel, save on gasoline and fit their lifestyle and business needs for economical transportation.
The four-wheeled motor vehicles weigh less than 3,000 pounds and have a top speed between 20 and 25 mph. Currently LSVs are allowed in 47 states and the District of Columbia on many roads where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or slower.
In accordance with LSV requirements, Club Car’s Villager 2+2 features headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals and a horn. In addition, a wrap-around impact-resistant bumper system and an onboard charger are standard. Colors include white (standard), beige and black (optional) and diamond white pearl, titanium silver, and desert sand (premium). Option packages are available.
Military bases, college campuses, residential neighborhoods and urban environments with congested driving and parking conditions are among the target markets for the new LSV, according to Robert McElreath, Club Car’s vice president of global marketing, who notes the vehicles’ wide-ranging benefits.
“Even when the purchase of an LSV does  not  replace a personal or commercial vehicle, it will replace many of the miles a vehicle with an internal combustion engine is used for, and that’s going to translate to fuel and energy savings as well as convenience,” said McElreath.
Club Car vehicles are sold through authorized dealers. To locate a dealer, go to clubcar.com and click on Dealer Locator.
Club Car, which is the world’s largest producer of four-wheel, small task-oriented electric vehicles, was one of the first manufacturers in the LSV market, partnering with General Motors in 2003 as part of a test program. In 2008 Club Car introduced LSV versions of its Carryall 2 and Carryall 6 utility vehicles aimed at commercial and government markets. The latest Villager model has been restyled to appeal to commercial and consumer users with a priority on comfort, convenience and efficiency.
Club Car’s more than 85 base models of small task-oriented vehicles serve thousands of commercial and consumer applications worldwide through more than 400 commercial and industrial utility vehicle dealers.

More about Club Car

Textron Eyeing China Factory

Last week a story from a Chinese business news service reported that Textron, manufacturer of E-Z-Go vehicles is looking into establishing a plant in China for the production of LSVs.  The company would partner with a Chinese automaker and produce neighborhood electric vehicles powered by lead acid batteries.  The plant would have the potential to produce 10,000 vehicles annually.  The story noted that the Chinese market for NEVs could be ripe given government incentives and their desire for developing clean vehicles.  There was no mention of exporting the vehicles to the US.  Learn more:  blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor