Renault Twizy 45: A Starter Car for Young UK Drivers?

Renault Twizy 45

Renault Twizy 45

A law is pending in the UK that would allow unlicensed drivers 16 years or older to drive lightweight vehicles with a top speed of 28 mph.  The Renault Twizy 45 would fit the bill.  The vehicle costs just under $10,000 but insurance premiums are estimated to be as high as $6,000 for younger drivers.  The details of the law are not finalized so Renault has not announced any marketing plans for the vehicle in the UK.  Learn more:

GPS Intelligence Offers Weather-Proof Vehicle Tracker

GPS Intelligence recently launched their ToughTrack PRO product to provide GPS tracking for a wide variety of vehicles including UTVs.  The small device is dust-proof and water resistant and can be installed anywhere in the vehicle.  The product features backup power and a variety of anti-theft features including:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Remotely triggered tamper-prevention and anti-theft measures including lights, horn, door lock and starter disable
  • Alert notification based on user defined events such as primary power cut, trailer disconnect, open trunk and ignition on
  • Alert notification based on unauthorized movement or moving out of a pre-defined geographic perimeter

Learn more:

Solar Power For Emergency Vehicles

Streamlight, Inc. is partnering with PowerFilm to provide flexible solar panels as an auxiliary power option for emergency responder vehicles.  The PowerFilm panels would be used to power lights, computers, radios and other electrical components.  Streamlight plans to begin selling the products next month.  While their primary market appears to be full-size police vehicles, they also see potential in the utility and industrial  vehicle markets as well.  PowerFilm already supplies E-Z-GO with solar panels for their electric vehicles. Learn more:

BRP To Offer Electric Can Am Commander

An electric Can Am Commander will be available in limited markets starting this July according to BRP management.  The electric side-by-side will have top speed of about 25 mpg (40 km/hr) and a range of 25 to 100 miles depending on terrain, driving behavior and other factors.  The vehicle will be produced at a new assembly plant located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, which will be used for gas vehicles as well.  Select dealers will be used to launch the vehicle in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas and Virginia.  Electric technology for the vehicle was developed at Centre de technologies avancees BRP-University de Sherbrooke (CTA).  Learn more:

Tomberlin Launches Emerge E2 XRLE Model

Tomberlin just announced the newest addition to their LSV product line, the Emerge E2 XRLE.  With this model Tomberlin has introduced an AC drive system to their LSV lineup.  The new model is similar to the Emerge E2 LE in terms of creature comforts and the features and options but offers extended range and improved driving performance.

The main difference is the AC drive system which is paired with a Curtis controller.  The powertrain also features a new axle design for less noise and more energy  efficiency.  The battery pack consists of eight 6-volt batteries for a range of 50+ miles depending on driving conditions.  Learn more:

Kubota RTV400Ci Update

Kubota RTV400Ci

Kubota's new RTV400Ci utility vehicle

I previously posted about Kubota’s addition of an RTV400 to their utility vehicle line.  The official model designation is the RTV400Ci.  In addition to what I noted before, the vehicle will be able to fit the bed of a full-size, long-bed pickup truck and has a top speed of 25 mph. It is available in Orange and Realtree® Hardwoods Camouflage.  The compact RTV400Ci is pitched as being ideal for transport to worksites, for ranch use or hunting.  Learn more:

Kawasaki Recalls UTVs

In voluntary cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) Kawasaki is recalling approximately 3,900 Mules because a “…fuel tube can scrape against the air cleaner housing and develop holes, posing a fire hazard.”  The recall covers the following 2012 Mule models:

MULE 600 KAF400BCF Green
MULE 610 4×4 KAF400ACF Red or Green
MULE 610 4×4 XC KAF400DCF or KAF400ECF Black or Camouflage

There have been no injuries or incidents reported regarding the issue but owners should stop using the vehicles and contact their local Kawasaki dealer for a free inspection and repair.  Learn more:

Arctic Cat News

At Arctic Cat Tracy Crocker has been named vice president/general manager of the ATV division where he will be responsible for the ATV/ROV business.  He will be in charge of product development, global strategy and business development.  Previously he was senior vice president of Ecolab’s Hospitality, Healthcare, and Commercial Markets.  He also has experience at well known consumer branding companies such as Nabisco, Pepsi Cola and Proctor & Gamble.  Learn more:

Tech News

Rappa Fencing Machine

Rappa's ATV fencing machine adapted for UTVs

In the UK fencing manufacturer Rappa has adapted their ATV fencing machine for UTVs.  The setup is good for about 2 km of stakes and fencing wire.  A steel frame is attached to the tailgate and the fencing machine is attached to the frame.  According to the manufacturer taking the machine on and off can be accomplished quite quickly and easily.  The product is another indication of how UTVs are supplanting ATVs in the farm segment.  Learn more:  Farmers Weekly

UTV Sales Up In The UK Farming Segment

The Agricultural Engineers Association recently reported that ATV sales in the  UK totaled more than 10,500 units in 2011, an increase of 4% from 2010.  Under ATVs they include both traditional ATVs and UTVs and theses figures appear to cover the farming segment.

A closer look at the data shows a similar trend as the US market, notably a decrease in the ATV market and an increase in the UTV market.  UTVs grew 24% from 2010 to reach nearly 3,800 vehicles.  Meanwhile ATVs decreased by nearly 5% but still accounted for a larger share of the market.  However, at these growth rates UTV sales should surpass as ATVs in a few years as they offer “greater carrying capacity and comfort”.  Learn more:  FarmersWeekly