A recent post discussed EVDrive’s Terra-Torque-Drive technology and it’s demonstration in a Kawasaki Teryx4. I thought the electric UTV technology, which among other capabilities enabled the demonstrator vehicle to perform zero-radius turns, could be an important development in the UTV market. I followed up with a call and fairly lengthy discussion with Steve Tice,COO, President, Co-Founder of EVDrive to talk more about their technology and plans for the UTV market. I put the information into an article in the Tech content section of this website. Learn more: EVDrive Terra-Torque-Drive
In Gulfport, FL a group of investors behind a LSV taxi service called GetGo is asking for some funding from the city. The concept behind GetGo is to provide transportation in the downtown area where parking problems can occur during certain peak times. The LSVs would be leased to drivers who would not charge fares but would earn income from tips. Revenue would also be generated from seven advertising placements on each vehicle. GetGo, which will be getting funding from the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce and Gulfport Merchants Association, would be formed as a non-profit and be responsible for maintenance and liability and property insurance. The city and the other funders would each have a seat on the company’s board. While there are some reservations about public funds for a service that might compete with private taxis, the city will investigate the possibility of funding the venture further. Investors are asking the city to provide $10,000 to $11,000 annually. Learn more: TheGrabber.com
Comment: This is an interesting approach which could create a model for LSV taxi services that could be applied in other cities. In the past, these type of no-fare, advertising and/or tip based services have run into some obstacles. Often, it is the existing taxi services or local officials who are concerned about mixing LSVs with other vehicles on local streets. A typical compromise is to limit the LSVs to a certain part of the downtown where their low speed, zero emissions and low noise characteristics are put to the best use.
Vandals recently broke into a maintenance garage at City Park in New Orleans, LA and took five utility vehicles for a joy ride. However, it was no joy ride for park officials who had to deal with over $50,000 worth of damage to the vehicles and are now down to only one vehicle for the 1,300 acre park. The vandals broke lights, windows and front ends, as well as, tearing up the grounds of the park. They also drove some of the vehicles into a lagoon in the park. Two of the vehicles were only a week old. The vandals had hot wired the vehicles. Learn more: WWLTV.com
Comment: While this is a story local to New Orleans, I thought I’d post an example of some of the thefts and vandalism surrounding UTVs, and raise awareness of the issue. While I don’t have any specific statistics on UTV thefts (if anyone has some sources please pass them along), my sense from a lot of the news stories I’ve seen over the past couple of years is that unfortunately this activity is on the rise. Given the increasing popularity and sales of UTVs, this should not be unexpected. While sometimes it is straight out theft, other times it is a joy ride that can end in extensive damage to the vehicle. I would like to hear what deterrents or steps you take as a private, commercial or municipal UTV owner to safeguard your vehicles.