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Neighborhood Electric Vehicles Gaining In Popularity

Originally published on EV Obsession.

When most people think of electric cars, they think of offerings like the Tesla Model S, or the Nissan LEAF — or, for that matter, of plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt. But what about those looking for something simpler? Those who don’t really need something as capable (and expensive) as a Model S or even a Nissan LEAF? There are of course “smart cars,” but even those can run a bit more expensive than what one may be looking for.

On that note, there’s something of a new movement (apparently) involving the use of “Neighborhood Electric Vehicles” (NEVs). This involves the use of golf carts as a means of normal transportation for people (seniors, in particular).


Given the convenience of such vehicles (and their relatively affordable nature), who can really blame someone for choosing one over something like a Model S (or Model X)?

Planetizen provides more:

They’re already used widely in parks, college campuses, enclosed communities, and, of course, golf courses. Now small towns are jumping on board in a push to make NEVs and other low-speed electrics the “cars” of choice for those who don’t need to travel far. They’re also much cheaper than full-size EVs.

In an odd twist, seniors are the demographic most suited to pioneer this transportation innovation. “Dozens of communities have outlined schemes to integrate carts and similarly sized vehicles into their transportation networks,” particularly places where older folks tend to live, and not limited to retirement communities.

Sun Belt suburbs, so long the domain of soccer-mom SUVs and vanity pickup trucks, are poised to embrace the humble electric golf cart. “Why drive a cart? Certainly, disposable income, warm weather, and relatively dense settlements are prerequisites. But drivers also say that NEVs allow for old-fashioned urban social interaction.”

So, in many ways, a substitute for a city car that doesn’t possess excessive size (or costs), and doesn’t use fossil fuels. Interesting. Any thoughts?

Image Credit: Miheco via Flickr CC

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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