Small Vehicle Resource Home
Home : Research : Tech : Personal Mobility: Here And Now And Down-The -Road At The 2018 PGA Show
Personal Mobility: Here And Now And Down-The -Road At The 2018 PGA Show
Published: Author: Category: Tech

     My annual trek to the PGA Show in Orlando this past January turned up some interesting prospects for the local market in personal transportation vehicles.  New companies are coming into the market, new models are arriving from established names, and the Big Three showed off upgrades and novel offerings, as well.

     In addition to these vehicle products, which can be characterized as being “Here and Now”, because they are on the market now, the PGA Show also brought in exhibitors whose products will be seen down-the-road in future product development.

New companies and recent introductions seen at the PGA Show

     Here are some new entrees in golf car-type personal mobility products:

  • From Turkey, PILOTCAR Electric Vehicles offers a wide range of golf cars, PTVs, and specialty utility vehicles.  The two- and four-seater models, likely to be of most interest GC dwellers, comes with a 4 kW AC electric motor (a 6 kW motor is optional), a 48 volt battery pack, on-board charger, and a variety of options, including folding, rear-facing seating for two.  The vehicle has a clear look of quality construction and very classy upholstery.  More information at www.pilotcar.com.tr

  • Garia Mercedes Benz
    From Denmark, luxury golf car manufacturer, Garia, exhibited its crème de la crème Mercedes-Benz model.  Clearly designed for the high-end market, this vehicle gets the gold medal for appearance and design.  The vehicle’s beautifully molded body and interior design features a fully integrated roof-and-windshield enclosure system.  The carbon fiber dash sports an integrated touchpad with graphically enhanced vehicle information, allowing you to view everything from speed to the golf course layout.  The M-B model, if outfitted as other Garia models, has a 3 kW, 4-hp three-phase AC motor, with a lithium battery option.  This is a stunning vehicle and has, for many, a stunning price tag.  More information at
    www.garia.com.
  • From Sweden, comes the ELLWEE, a four-wheel, single rider golf car, which is robust enough to second as an inside-the-property runabout.  The vehicle is powered four-12 volt AGM batteries and a 48-volt DC induction motor.  Company founder, Mathias Lindmark, placed emphasis on the sturdiness of the vehicle’s all-steel construction and the patented rear pivot axle, designed to minimize stress on golf course turf (and your own, as well).  The vehicle is outfitted with an optional sun roof, utility box, and drinks cooler.  This is a very sleek, solid-looking vehicle.  More information at www.ellwee.com.

  • Yamaha Drive2
    From Yamaha, homegrown out of Georgia, comes the Drive2 PTV, with Yamaha’s exclusive QuieTech technology and a 45 MPG EFI gas engine.  As the name suggests, QuieTech is engineered to be as quiet, or nearly so, as electric-powered vehicles.  Further, with a 5.8 gallon gas tank, the 250 mile distance means no range anxiety here.  Thus, the on-going competitive tug of war between gas and electric.  Other features include:  a new fully independent rear suspension, 
    a new larger automotive style dash, a storage bin with no-slip mat and an optional USB connectors in dash.  More information a https://www.yamahagolfcar.com/golf-car/personal/the-drive-2-ptv/.
  • From China, Evolution Electric Vehicles offers the Revolution 4, a fully enclosed PTV four-seater with all the bells and whistles of automotive functionality, including front and rear lights, turn signals, sliding and adjustable seats, air-conditioning and heating, and a radio and speaker system.  The Revolution 4 is powered by a 4 kW AC motor and a 60 volt AGM battery pack.  The vehicle has a boxy, but dependable look, with the advantage of all-season use.   
  • More from China, DSG Global, Inc. exhibited another fully-enclosed vehicle—this, a four-seater, four-door model, the DSG 100e4.  The company’s 100e series combines a claimed 90 mile range, automotive features such as heated seating and stereo system, is LSV-certified by US DOT-certified, and comes equipped with a whole package of premium options.


New kid on the block—Star Electric Vehicle’s Sirius


Star Sirius
Move over Onward (Club Car’s PTV introduced at last year’s PGA Show), the Sirius could be serious competition.   Last year’s introduction of the Onward™ by Club Car marked a certain turning point in PTV products.  It combined golf car attributes with a flair for the off-road, especially in its lifted version.  It offered, in addition to the golfer, an appeal to a gated community dweller who never comes close to the golf course.

     Star Electric Vehicles, however, recently introduced the Sirius® PTV that will offer keen competition to the Onward.  A full-color instrument display (speedometer, odometer, and battery indicator), LED headlights with high beams, self-canceling turn signals, dual rear view mirrors with turn signal indicators, a console with interior LED lighting, a front trunk compartment with electronic locking, a USB outlet, and folding tinted windshield bring the incorporation of automotive features to a new level.

     The vehicle is stylish with headlights wrapping around to the sides of the front cowl.  And, the Sirius has excellent performance specs, sporting a 5.4 h.p. AC electric motor and 350 Amp Curtis controller.  (Thanks to Todd Dunlap, Star’s Product Marketing Manager for corporate and GSA sales, for time spent pointing out features on the Sirius.)                 


Product/Market Evolution: Moving into the blue-sky realm of product and market development

                  One would not have thought that golf, a decidedly leisure activity, sometimes with business networking overtones, would segue into new concepts in vehicular mobility.  Whether all the pieces have yet come together does not belie the point that some of the pieces are there or are certainly emerging.  Here are two examples seen at the PGA Show:

  • Lithium batteries, providing more distance and potentially faster charging. E-Z-GO introduced lithium batteries in their fleet vehicles and in their ELITE line last year. Club Car revealed that they have been testing lithium extensively, and we can anticipate a product introduction in the fourth quarter or early next year.
  • Permanent magnet electric motors:  While not a new technology, PM motors offer the potential of greater power, torque, and overall efficiency, as compared with more conventional AC and DC electric motors.  The drawback with regard to golf car and personal transportation vehicles has been cost, but new developments offer the promise of a lower price tag.

                  The combination of these two critical components of the electric vehicle drive train could well end range anxiety with regard electric power for good.  Ashwoods Electric Motors, Ltd., based in Exeter, U.K. and SilverWolf Electric Vehicles out of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada both exhibited advanced permanent electric motors with products ready for the market.


What the future could hold for personal mobility

                  AEV Technologies, based in Austin, TX is a start up with an exciting concept in electric powered personal mobility.  This is a three-wheel vehicle, the AEV 311, designed as a commuter car and probably qualifies as a motorcycle—thus allowing its 50+ mph maximum speed.  The motor is a 10 hp AC electric motor powered by lithium batteries, an advertised range of 50 miles, and a front-wheel drive system.  It features tandem seating with headrests, a back-up camera, AM/FM/Bluetooth electronics, and a LCM display.  In addition, it offers eye-catching, radical styling for a PTV.


AEV Technologies 311
In the last sentence above, it should be noted that the styling is radical for what we in gated communities have come to know as a PTV.  It’s not so radical compared to European three-wheel and four-wheel small vh designs that are coming on the market in Europe.  Nonetheless, this is a vehicle type that is on the move and could well break new ground in engineering, design, and market development for gated communities and other mobility environments.   You see the vehicle; what do you think?  More information at
https://austinelectric.com/aev311/