A General View of Small Electric Vehicles

June 16, 2017admin

As a new, cleaner, and more economical vehicle, the small electric vehicle is emerging in our life. In the west, SEV in the form of a golf cart is popular as a transportation mode for retirees; In the east, especially in China, SEV is spreading on an impressively large scale.

Current Situation

Currently, the sales volume of electric vehicles in China is bigger than that in any other country. In 2014, China sold more than 300,000 Low Electric Vehicles.  

It is worth mentioning that all the LEVs being sold in China use extremely similar components as the LSVs and Golf Carts in the USA. In fact, It creates an integration of Golf Cart Parts and Automobile Features, joining the two industries directly together.

With the market booming in China, Even BMW has seen the appeal of electric vehicles, and they has decided to develop the BMW i3 which holds a position in the top 3 worldwide selling all electric vehicles.

Future Prospect

According to the research, the average consumer commutes less than 7 miles. And a small electric vehicle can easily travel this far. Therefore, more and more communities are designed with the intent to allow the consumers to drive a small electric vehicle locally. In this way, one household may only need one automobile plus a small electric vehicle. This could reduce the total family expenses.

Although this trend may not take full shape in the US in the short term, with the usability of Uber and the future realization of autonomous vehicles, a small electric vehicle can probably satisfy the needs of your daily life, for example, go to the gym and visit your neighbor.  

Origin and History

In the mid 1950s, golf carts started to be widely accepted by the golfing community, then a multitude of golf cart manufacturers is molding. The famous golf cart brands such as E-Z-GO and Club Car, both began in the 1950s.

Through the 1990s, it was very common to see a fleet of 20 to 40 golf carts on every golf course in the US, leading golf carts to be a popular mode of transportation for residents in private golf communities and later in retirement communities. It is a crucial step for the evolution of golf carts into a stable transportation vehicle as they are not only equipped more like cars in terms of safety features, but also offered a wide variety of accessories to choose from.

Since many individuals around the US were starting to use the golf cart on the street, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to introduce a Federally regulated segment known as a Low-Speed Vehicle. The Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) looks like a golf cart, however it has a number of key differences:

Like a car, An LSV has to carry a 17 digit vin number and is also licensed. Moreover, it has several key safety elements such as seat belts, headlights, brake lights and other safety oriented standards.

With the LSV becoming more desired for its faster speed and safer attributes, this vehicle segment continues to grow, especially driven by the Baby Boomer generation. Now we are in the midst of one of the largest generations retiring, and a large portion of retirees are living in communities specifically designed for LSVs. As a result, many vehicle manufacturers are preparing to occupy a significant portion of this market share.

In a word, the markets will determine the future evolution of Golf Carts into Small Electric Vehicles. And the SEV can become an important local urban transportation tool. 

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