Club Car Offering Solar Panels

New solar panel offering from Club Car.

New solar panel offering from Club Car.

Club Car is now offering rooftop solar panels for their 48-volt Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager LSVs. Customers will now be able to capture store and use solar power with the 100-watt Solar Drive Charging Panel Assembly. Club Car reports that “As a yearly average, the system generates 29 percent of the total energy required to drive eight miles per day in West Palm Beach, Fla.” Customer results may vary depending on how they use their vehicle and where they live. The panels measure 40 inches by 26 inches by 0.2 inches thick and weigh less than 6 pounds. The panels are impact resistant,  have Teflon-like coating to protect the cells and come complete with a controller, connector to the vehicle’s power supply, all necessary hardware and installation instructions. They can be user- or dealer-installed in about 20 minutes. Learn more:

Comment:  Club Car now joins GEM and Evergreen Electric Vehicles in offering a solar option for their vehicles. Evergreen and GEM also offers a SolarDrive product. GEM offers  220 watt and 410 watt systems for $2,500 and $4,000 respectively. Pricing was not provided for the Club Car product.

NEVs Help Drive EV Sales in China

Kandi Technologies NEV

Kandi Technologies NEV

According to China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) reached 78,499 units, 3.5 times of such figure in last year.

Among the total, BEV was 48,605 units and PHEV was 29,894 units, 2.4 times and 8.1 times from the previous year respectively. As for the sales, the total volume reached 74,763 units, 3.2 times from a year earlier, of which BEV was 45,048 units and PHEV was 29,715 units, 2.1 times and 8.8 times of that of last year.”

While exact figures are not available it is believed that half or more of the the BEV sales can be attributed to BEVs. Learn more:

Comment:  The Chinese market for NEVs is more conducive to the use of NEVs than the US because of the amount of intra-city driving which requires a lower top speed and less range. The Chinese government is also making a big push for electric vehicles.

What’s Cooking on the STOV: Beach Bugz LSV Rentals

Highlighting some of the many applications for small, task-oriented vehicles

Beach Bugz co-owners Adam Benigni, left, and Jimmy Stephenson have opened a street-legal golf cart rental business, along with partner Adam Smith, not pictured. Photo Credit:  David Albers

Beach Bugz co-owners Adam Benigni, left, and Jimmy Stephenson have opened a LSV rental business, along with partner Adam Smith, not pictured. Photo Credit: David Albers

Beach Bugz Offers LSVs for Rent – Beach Bugz, a company based in Naples, FL, started renting LSVs last October for daily, weekend or weekly use at rates of $100, $275 or $475 respectively. Beach Bugz currently has a fleet of 23, six-seat E-Z-GO vehicles that meet LSV regulations and conveniently come with a free beach parking sticker. The company was started by Adam Benigni, Adam Smith and Jimmy Stephenson and they have plans to expand their fleet to between 50 and 100 vehicles to cover from Naples to Marco Island as well as looking to other counties and to hotel rentals. They hope to upgrade the vehicles as well with GPS navigation and bluetooth enabled speakers so customers can stream music over their smartphones. Some businesses in the area offer dedicated parking spots for electric vehicles or LSVs and the City Council is examining ways to encourage LSV use. The rentals have been popular when customers had friends and relatives visiting for Thanksgiving or children coming down for Spring Break. Learn more:

Comment:  A nice niche fleet market is developing for LSVs. In addition to this type of rental company, there have been a number of LSV taxi fleets that have been started in different cities around the country. While they often face some local regulatory issues, in general, they appear to be making some headway.

Will Lithium Batteries Disrupt The Fleet Golf Car Market

The Evolve fleet golf car from LiV Golf Cars

The Evolve fleet golf car from LiV Golf Cars is powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery.

For a number of years there has been talk about lithium batteries making an impact on the STOV market. The verdict has always been mixed when I’ve interviewed dealers on the subject. Three years ago you could find a number of dealers predicting that lithium powered vehicles were about to break out and start making serious inroads in the STOV market. However, that has not come to pass, at least not yet. What has happened by all accounts is that lithium batteries have become significantly cheaper. But have they become cheap enough.

I recently spoke to Jon Hoster, the founder of LiV Golf Cars, and he believes they have. Specifically he is targeting the fleet golf car market with a pair of lithium battery powered golf cars. What is disruptive about lithium powered fleet golf cars is that their battery packs can last twice as long as the lead acid based battery packs currently in use. Historically, fleet golf car leases have been closely linked to battery pack life. When the battery pack is ready for replacement, a new fleet of golf cars is leased. Lithium powered golf cars could drastically change this time frame, and, over a relatively short period of time, the demand for fleet golf cars.

This issue is discussed in more depth in a new article posted on

New Small Task-Oriented Vehicle (STOV) Study from SVR Forecasts Significant Growth

STOV 7 rpt brochure pieSmall Task-Oriented Vehicle (STOV) market at the Edge  Of Significant Transformation & Growth in Next Five Years

            In a new market study on the small vehicle market, Small Vehicle Resource (SVR), LLC predicts significant growth over the 2015-2019 period.  The market research reveals four trends coming together that will result in market gains of between 8%-12% in the forecast period and an industry value in the range of $20-$25 billion at retail.  These trends are:

  • Growing appreciation in a highly diverse market for the effectiveness of small vehicles specifically designed to meet individual segment needs (small, task-oriented vehicles (STOVs);
  • Superior product development in drive trains (AC electric plus the addition of EFI and hybrid drives in many new market segments) and automotive-type components, which heightens performance capabilities and raises the bar in the cost/benefit trade-off;
  • Critical improvement in distribution and sales systems that cater to manufacturers’ non-traditional markets—in conjunction with,
  • Increased use of the internet-based information to drive sales.

“Much better economic performance for the last three quarters of 2014 and a strong positive outlook for 2015, provides the launching pad for SVR’s positive forecast for 2015-2019,”  states Steve Metzger, SVR Managing Director.  “The drag on industry growth from the 2008/09 recession and subsequent slow recovery appears to be over,” he went on to say.  Further, Metzger explains, “With the exception of fleet golf cars, where demand is stagnant at best, the privately-owned (primarily personal transportation vehicles), utility vehicle, and off road segments should all see gains in mid-single digits to low double digits range over the next five years.”  The report notes that the stability of the golf-related market offers to golf car manufacturers the cash flow breathing room to transition to non-golf segments.

Marc Cesare, SVR Managing Director adds,  “We put special emphasis on the off-road market in this report, because it has become the competitive vortex for golf car manufacturers seeking new markets, the powersports industry, and traditional manufacturers of work related utility vehicles.”  “The spectrum of off-road solutions has greatly expanded,” Cesare notes, “as manufacturers seek growth by broadening their product lines and targeting market sub-segments with models tailored for specific end-use applications.”

The new study, the seventh in the series of studies produced by SVR since 2000, covers utility, off-road, and personal transportation vehicles, and fleet golf cars.

The study is entitled, “The Small, Task-Oriented Vehicle Market: Greater Product Diversity Opens New Avenues of Market Competition–Trends from 2010; Forecasts to 2019.  For additional, detailed information see our SVR STOV Market Study Brochure or contact:

Steve Metzger  at or (914) 293-7577


Delta-Q Technologies Launching New Charger for Burden Carriers & UTVs

The new QuiQ 1500 battery charger from Delta-Q Technologies.

The new QuiQ 1500 battery charger from Delta-Q Technologies.

Delta-Q Technologies will be revealing their new QuiQ 1500 battery charger for electric burden carriers and utility vehicles at ProMat 2015 in March. ProMat is the largest expo for manufacturing and supply chain professionals in North America.

The QuiQ 1500 is a higher power version of the original QuiQ 1000 that is found in many electric utility vehicles used in material handling. The QuiQ 1500 allows users to charge existing battery packs up to 30 percent faster than the QuiQ 1000 or equip machines with a bigger pack and still meet a 5- or 8-hour charging time requirement. The QuiQ 1500’s compact design matches the exact dimensions and mounting configuration of the existing QuiQ 1000, allowing swift replacement of any existing QuiQ charger. With a standard North American 110V AC power source, the QuiQ 1500 provides 1200 watts of output power, and at 220 or 230 VAC, 1500 watts of output power. The new charger will be available in 48V and 72V models. Sample units will be available in April 2015, with full production beginning in June 2015.

Learn more:

Polaris Ranger Sponsors PRCA ProRodeo

Polaris announced that the  Polaris Ranger will be the “Official UTV of the PRCA, the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.” The national sponsorship deal also includes the renaming of the The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to the “Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER”, and PRCA World Champions and all RNCFR champions will each receive a Polaris RANGER, as well as both of the Remuda Award winners.  Learn more:

Yamaha Viking VI Earns 2015 FinOvation Award

The new Yamaha Viking VI EPS side-by-side.

The Yamaha Viking VI EPS side-by-side that earned a 2015 FinOvation Award from Farm Industry News magazine.

From the press release:

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., was awarded the 2015 FinOvation Award from Farm Industry News magazine for its Viking VI Side-by-Side (SxS) utility vehicle. The FinOvation Award is designed to celebrate the spirit of innovation and recognize new products that have received the most interest from Farm Industry News readers. This is the second consecutive year Yamaha has received the award. In 2014, the premier Viking model that introduced the first true three-person seating capacity in a SxS vehicle earned a FinOvation Award.
“We’re honored to receive the FinOvation award for a second consecutive year,” said Steve Nessl, ATV/SxS marketing manager, Yamaha Motor Corporation. “It’s especially rewarding to know the award is based on positive responses from people who rely so heavily on their utility vehicles for day-to-day toughness, durability and performance in the field.” Nessl accepted the award on behalf of Yamaha at the 50th Annual National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville.
In its report announcing the 2015 FinOvation Award winners, Farm Industry News wrote, “Yamaha made a statement with the new Viking side-by-side. This machine offers six-person seating, more room for cargo and has a number of convenience features, including electronic power steering and differential lock.”
Yamaha introduced the Viking VI EPS six-person SxS in June 2014. The extended cab Viking VI combines Yamaha performance and durability with the comfort and convenience of a Viking—with maximum headroom, legroom and shoulder room for six occupants.
Similar to the three-seat Viking introduced in 2013, the Viking VI is made for tough off-road duty and features Yamaha’s industry-leading Ultramatic™ fully automatic transmission, On-Command® four-wheel drive system, Electric Power Steering (EPS) and Yamaha’s proven and powerful 700cc-class engine. With 600-pounds hauling and 1,500-pounds towing, the Viking VI is made to be the toughest, hardest working and most off-road capable six-person SxS ever.
“We know farmers and ranchers demand the hardest-working and most dependable equipment for use on their operations,” added Nessl. “It’s rewarding to know the Viking models have earned their stamp of approval.”
Yamaha is committed to continually expanding its line of class-leading SxS vehicles and has recently unveiled the all-new Wolverine R-Spec. “With the introduction of the Wolverine R-Spec, Yamaha is furthering its position in the growing multipurpose SxS segment of the off-road business,” added Nessl. All of Yamaha’s ATV and SxS vehicles are being assembled in the U.S.A. at Yamaha’s factory in Newnan, Georgia, for worldwide distribution. Learn more:

Club Car Awarded National Contract for Utility, Transportation & Golf Vehicles

Carryall 2 Electric from Club Car

Carryall 2 Electric from Club Car is one of the vehicles covered by the newly awarded contract.

Club Car has won a national contract from U.S. Communities for utility, transportation and golf vehicles and related accessories, equipment, parts and services. U.S. Communities is the leading national government purchasing cooperative, providing government procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education institutes, and nonprofits looking for the best overall supplier government pricing. More than 55,000 registered agencies, education institutions and nonprofits utilize U.S. Communities contracts to procure

The lead agency on the bid solicitation for the contract was the City of Kansas City, MO. This is the first time the organization has awarded a contract in this category and it is for three years with two one year renewal options. Vehicles covered in the contract include:

  • Carryall® utility vehicles. (4x2s and automatic 4x4s and two- and four-passenger models.)
  • Carryall® LSVs. Street-legal on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less in most states.
  • Transporter™ transport vehicles. (Four- to eight-passenger.)
  • Villager™ transport vehicles. (Four- to eight-passenger.)
  • Precedent® golf cars.
  • Café Express hospitality vehicles.
  • Service parts factory direct.

Learn more:

Comment:  This is a nice contract to win. It effectively shuts out the competition when the member agencies want to purchase these types of vehicles. They don’t have to put out request for proposals (RFP) and obtain quotes from multiple vendors. By avoiding the RFP process, purchasing through this contract makes the process faster for both the buyer and seller.


XY Powersports Introduces Vaterra 1100

The Vaterra 1100L, the four person versio of the new Vaterra side-by-side by XY Powersports.

The Vaterra 1100L, the four person versio of the new Vaterra side-by-side by XY Powersports.

XY Powersports, an Ohio based distributor, recently introduced their new Vaterra 1100 side-by-side. The new side-by-side is powered by an electronic fuel injected 1100cc engine that produces 71.5 horsepower and 67 pounds of torque at 4000 RPM. The Vaterra is offered in a two or four person version. Other key features include:

  • Rear-wheel driveshaft
  • Switchable to 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive with a differential lock
  • Automatic CVT
  • Power steering
  • Liquid twin-fan cooling system
  • DOHC 16 valves
  • Electronic e-brake
  • Hydraulic assist bed with mounted rails on both sides
  • Protective overfenders
  • Alloy wheels
  • Half doors
  • Plastic canopy
  • 3000 lbs. winch
  • 3500 lbs. hitch ball
  • Sealed under-seat storage

The two seat Vaterra 1100 EFI is priced at $12,599 and the four seat Vaterra 1100L EFI is priced at $13,999. Learn more:

Comment:  The XY Powersports products are value priced. The name brand manufacturers have been able to raise prices on their vehicles for a number of years without hurting sales. The demand for vehicles has been increasing and the features and capabilities of the vehicles has increased as well, so customers have been willing to pay the price. However, rising price points have provided some room in the market for value priced brands such as Kymco, XY Powersports and others to find some success. The challenge for these value oriented companies is to maintain a steady stream of new models that provide value through a combination of price and features in comparison to name brand vehicles.