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.