E-Z-GO Developments

Towards the end of last year E-Z-GO initiated a rebranding of some of their product lines.  They introduced their Terrain line of vehicles for what management describes as “trail-utility” applications and their Express line of vehicles for “trail-leisure” applications.  The Terrain line consists of the Terrain 250 and 1000 in gas and electric configurations and the Terrain 500 and 1500 in gas only configurations.  The Express line consists of the L4, S4, L6 and S6 models which all come in gas or electric versions.  One dealer’s website describes the Terrain line being for cargo and the Express line being for people.

From my understanding the old E-Z-GO ST product line has been rebranded as E-Z-GO Terrain & Express models, and as the Cushman Hauler models, and some as Bad Boy Buggies.  While the guts of the vehicles have not been changed substantially, the front body panel, the cowl, headlights and canopy top have been changed and the top supports are beefier as well.

E-Z-GO Exceed Hybrid Technology

E-Z-GO's Exceed Hybrid Technology Range Extender

E-Z-Go has also introduced a range extender technology for their Freedom RXV golf car and 2Five LSV.  The Exceed Hybrid Technology™ is a fully integrated supplemental power source which can extend the range of these vehicles up to 150 miles based on E-Z-Go’s test results.  The Exceed features a 6 hp, 205 cc gas generator which can recharge the batteries on the fly and provides a 400-watt power source for charging electronic devices.  System controls and the power source outlet are located on the dashboard.  The generator fits into the vehicle’s bagwell with a custom cover. Learn more:  Ezgo.com


Columbia ParCar Recalls Vehicles For Steering Issue

Columbia ParCar, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling nearly 1,400 golf, service and utility vehicles produced between July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011, which includes 2009, 2010 and 2011 models.  The vehicles are being recalled because “…the lower steering yoke can loosen where it attaches to the steering rack and pinion, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.”  No injuries have been reported related to the issue.  Models involved in the recall include the Eagle (P4E) Golf Vehicle, Shuttle (C6E) Personnel Carrier, Tram (C10E) Personnel Carrier, Summit (SM/SUV) Utility Vehicle, Utilitruck (EU4, EU24) Utility Vehicle and Scout (S10E) Utility Vehicle.  Check the following link for specific VINs involved. Columbia ParCar dealers will be conducting free inspections and repairs as required.  Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Polaris Reports Record Financial Results Again

Showing strength across all product lines Polaris Industries reported record fourth quarter and full year profits on Wednesday.  For the fourth quarter sales increased 26% from 4Q 2010 to $782.0 million and for the full year sales increased 33% from 2010 to $2,656.9 million. Other full year highlights include:

  • Increased market share for all product lines
  • 39% increase in international sales
  • Net income of $227.6 million – 55% more than 2010.
Their Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) segment increased sales 32% over 2010 to $1.82 billion.  The segment includes ATVs and side-by-sides.  Management reports ATV unit retail sales growing upper single digits percent and side-by-side vehicle unit retail sales increasing about 20 percent over the prior year.  Polaris continues to gain market share in each segment.  Learn more:  Marketwatch.com
Earnings Call highlights:
  • The overall ATV market declined low double digits for 2011 while side-by-sides increased low double digits.
  • Polaris sales through their partnership with Bobcat increased 60% in 2011.
  • Polaris has discontinued their Breeze LSV in light of their GEM acquisition and production of GEMs in their Spirit Lake facility has begun.
  • Asia Pacific and Latin America are the key global markets
  • Expectations for a slower level of growth for the company and ORV sales for the coming year.
  • New products with Bobcat likely in end of 2012 or early 2013
  • Strong growth in military segment expected with sales to special forces and in unmanned technology products


KYMCO UTVs Recalled For Fire Hazard

KYMCO USA, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling nearly 1,900 UTVs produced from 2009 to 2012.  The vehicles are being recalled because “…an exposed portion of the exhaust system can allow debris such as leaves, brush or other flammable materials to enter the opening and ignite, posing a fire hazard.”  While there have been three reports of fires, no injuries have been reported.  Models involved in the recall include the UXV 500, 500 LE, and 500 SE and the UXVi 500, 500 LE, and 500 SE.  Check the following link for specific VINs involved.  KYMCO dealers will be installing repair kits for free.  Learn more:  CPSC.gov

New Vehicle Introductions

ACG Cars T-Sport LSV

T-Sport LSV recently introduced by ACG Cars

ACG Cars – ACG Cars of California recently launched their T-Sport LSV, a four passenger all electric vehicle. Features include  including a 17.5 hp brushless A/C motor, Sevcon computerized controller and LCD in-dash display.  The vehicle has a top speed of 25 mph and an estimated range of 40 miles.  MSRP is $7950. Learn more:  News.yahoo.com

AGT Electric Cars – AGT Electric Cars of Ontario, Canada recently introduced their Marrow Waste Management Vehicle.  The company usually manufacturers manufactures low-speed vehicles, neighborhood electric vehicles, utility task vehicles, burden carriers and golf cars.  The new vehicle is based upon their Marrow Electric Industrial Vehicle but is fitted with a 1-ton capacity trash bin.  The vehicle is powered by 12 6-volt batteries and management reports a range of 35 miles when fully loaded.  The vehicle is currently undergoing pilot tests and will be launched in Canada this month with a price of around $25,000.  The company is talking with potential distributors for the US market.  Learn more:  Wastecyclingnews.com

Cycle Country Sells ATV Accessories Line

Earlier this month Cycle Country Accessories Corp announced the sale of it’s ATV accessories line to Kolpin Outdoors for $8 million.  The sale did not include any manufacturing assets but did include the trade name. Subsequently, Cycle Country Accessories changed it’s parent name to ATC Venture Group and subsidiary name to Simonsen Iron Works.  Learn more:  Menafn.com

Mitsubishi Planning Small Electric Truck

According to reports, Mitsubishi Motors is currently developing a small electric truck for the farm and contractor market.  Technical specifications on the vehicle are limited, but it is expected to be a light weight, rear drive truck.  It is not known if it will operate at LSV speeds or higher.  The truck will be the third electric vehicle model produced by Mitsubishi. Learn more:  Rushlane.com

EV Related Tax Credits Expire

Federal budget battles have led to the expiration of a number of electric vehicle related tax credits.  The most important tax credit for the STOV market was the tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles which applied to LSVs.  The credit was worth 10% of the cost of the vehicle up to $2,500.  A tax credit for installing electric vehicle recharging stations also expired.  While these type of tax credits are frequently renewed with an added provision to the budget bill, the disputes over the budget that went down to the deadline altered the usual process.  There is a possibility that some of the tax credits could be re-instated at a later date, which has occurred with other credits in the past,  but there has been no reports of that happening.  Learn more:  Torquenews.com

Evergreen Electric Vehicles Chooses Solar Drive For Vehicle Solar Panels

Evergreen Electric Vehicles, an authorized ZAP dealer, has chosen Solar Drive as their provider for roof top solar panels for their vehicles.  The system from Denmark based Solar Drive includes two 100 watt panels and a proprietary controller.  Press release follows.



EVERGREEN Electric Vehicles endorses Solar Drive 

Evergreen Electric Vehicles, LLC endorses the Solar Drive system as the preferred Solar Top for all of its vehicles. “We are very impressed with the quality and performance of the Solar Drive products,” says Keith Andrews, President of Evergreen Electric Vehicles.  “The robust design and attention to detail are qualities that drew us to the product.  The management and support staff are highly professional and forward thinking.  We wanted to give our customers some direction on which of Solar top to consider.”  

The Solar Drive top fits a wide range of vehicles. The hardware to install the top uses top quality stainless steel fasteners and the solar panels are surrounded by an attractive extruded aluminum frame with a Scandinavian flare.  Solar Drive’s home office is located in Denmark.

The Solar Drive top converts solar energy from two one hundred watt PV modules through a proprietary Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controller to maximize the amps and volts to the battery pack.  

“The use of the latest state of the art solar panels along with a superior management system is what differentiates the Solar Drive system from the others.” says Erik Andersen, General Manager of Global Sales for Solar Drive.  “This free power from the sun can extend the vehicles range five to ten miles per day, depending on a variety of conditions.  By keeping the batteries constantly charged, the rate and level of discharge is improved, which over time will improve the battery life,” adds Andersen.

To learn more about the Solar Drive system or to locate a Solar Drive distributor near you , go to www.solardrive.com .  To find our more about the full line of Evergreen Electric Vehicles go to www.evergreenev.com

More Sustainability Driven Purchases

The University of Chicago recently added three e-Ride electric utility vehicles to their fleet.  The LSVs are replacing two gas powered trucks and a van and are the University’s first foray into all electric vehicles.  The vehicles will be used mostly by the facilities department in their carpentry or painting shops during a pilot phase to understand how to best use the vehicles.  In the future more of these type of vehicles are expected to be purchased as part of a sustainability program.  Learn more:  Blogs.uchicago.edu/dirt

Update:  In a related story, Missouri State University students purchased a Vantage EVX1000 electric utility truck for student workers who collect recyclables on campus.  The student sustainability fund was used to finance the $24,000 purchase.  The recycling program is expected to now be more efficient with a dedicated vehicle that expands access to off-campus university buildings downtown.  Learn more:  News-leader.com