While much of the focus of late has been upon mainstream electric vehicles, it seems as though the popularity of Neighborhood electric vehicles continues to grow. These vehicles have a history which is far more successful than their larger electric vehicle counterparts but receive very little in the way publicity or promotion. The Global Electric Motor (GEM) brand is by far and away the best known brand in this particular sector having changed hands on numerous occasions in the past. So, why is it that NEVs continue to sneak under the radar, yet gain in popularity?
Types of Neighborhood electric vehicle
There is no doubt that the U.S. market is by far the largest NEV market in the world, with an array of different types highly visible across the country. These can take many different forms including: golf buggy style vehicles, one seater cars, commercial electric vehicles, college/business campus travel options and multi-passenger NEVs.
Quote from ElectricForum.com: "What's the top speed (level ground) for your stock, unmodified GEM e2? "
Such is the demand for this particular style of vehicle that we are seeing more and more different types and this is likely to continue for many years to come. While the GEM is by far and away the most recognisable of NEV brands today, it is not the only brand available.
The US authorities specifically approved the use of low-speed vehicles on the streets of the country under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard act. These are deemed to be vehicles with four wheels, weighing less than 1400 kg and with a top speed of between 20 mph and 25 mph. On the whole they are restricted to use on streets with a maximum speed limit of between 35 mph and 45 mph. However, a little research on the Internet will show that many owners have modified their vehicles to go well in excess of the 25 mph statutory limit.
It is worth noting that once a vehicle is able to exceed 25 mph, it moves into a different regulatory class and is subject to the safety requirements of passenger vehicles. This is something which you need to be fully aware of if you are planning to acquire a Neighborhood electric vehicle and modify the top speed in any way. You should also research specific state-by-state regulations as there are potentially other safety features required in different areas of the U.S.
The traditional NEV can be recharged by simply plugging into a standard outlet and in the state of California they are classified as zero emission vehicles. As a consequence, it may well be worth investigating whether you could potentially apply for a purchase rebate from the authorities. This is not something which is readily promoted or advertised, unlike the financial incentives available for larger electric vehicles which appear to grab all of the headlines.
As we touched on above, the U.S. is the leading market for NEVs but they are now also readily available across the world from China to Europe and beyond. They seem to have a loyal following that the main electric vehicle market could only dream of!