July 17, 2013

New Class of Vehicle Begs the Question “Are you Driving a Golf Car or an LSV?”

-Press Release, Augusta, Ga.

Once upon a time, a golf car was a golf car. Period.

“But that’s no longer true,” says Mary A. Sicard, director of consumer marketing at Club Car.

Although the term “golf car” is still commonly used to refer to many types of vehicles, legally speaking a golf car is a vehicle used on golf courses for the game of golf. The speed of these vehicles is limited to 15 mph or less.

“When golf cars are used off course, they are classified as Personal Transport Vehicles, or PTVs. PTVs can be gasoline or electric-powered with a maximum speed of less than 20 mph. They may be driven on public roads as defined by state and local laws for purposes unrelated to golf,” Sicard says.

Neither golf cars nor PTVs are classified as motor vehicles under federal law and neither are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) but by state and local governments.

Enter the Low Speed Vehicle (LSV)

But a new class of street-legal vehicle known as low speed vehicles (LSVs) is classified as a motor vehicle and regulated by the NHTSA. These zero-emissions cars can reach speeds of between 20-25 mph. They can be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less in most states. They must have certain safety equipment, be registered and insured, and can be driven only by licensed drivers.

That’s causing some confusion.

Here’s why. Original manufacturers of golf cars keep the maximum speed below 15 mph. Yet owners sometimes have their vehicles modified to increase the speed when they want to use a golf car as a PTV. This can have legal ramifications.

If a golf car is modified to go 20–25 mph, it becomes by definition an LSV and is subject to NHTSA regulations. “In effect, many people are driving an LSV when they think they are driving a golf car,” Sicard says. “That can leave them open to liability and litigation, especially in the event of an accident.”

Take it Slow with Speed Upgrades

Independent shops and mechanics often offer speed upgrades, but they don’t always understand or explain the ramifications.

Some suppliers market gear-set upgrade options. But these products are difficult to install, reduce torque and impair hill-climbing ability. They also void the warranty and may increase the risks of accidents.

“If you want to upgrade the speed of your golf car, make sure you keep it under 20 mph and look for an upgrade kit made by the original manufacturer,” Sicard says.

Accelerate With the Xcelerator™

“To safely meet the needs of people who want to upgrade speed without sacrificing performance or voiding the warranty, Club Car offers an affordable 19-mph upgrade for its gasoline golf cars. Known as the Xcelerator, it is the only factory-authorized upgrade for Club Car golf cars on the market,” says Sicard.

The Xcelerator can be installed on new or existing gasoline golf cars. The all-inclusive kit feature a drive clutch, driven clutch, CVT belt, accelerator cable and associated hardware.

They kits are sold only through Authorized Club Car Dealers. To find a dealer near you, visit www.clubcar.com and select “Dealer Locator.”

About Club Car

Club Car, one of the most respected names in the golf industry, is the world’s largest manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles. The company’s Precedent golf cars and Carryall turf utility vehicles are integral to successful operations at thousands of courses around the world. The company also offers a complete line of new and used golf cars, XRT utility vehicles and street-legal, low speed vehicles (LSVs) for personal use, all backed by Club Car’s 50+ year legacy of superior design, manufacture and service.

Club Car is part of the Industrial Technology Sector of Ingersoll Rand, and is based in Augusta, Ga. Visit www.clubcar.com.

About Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® —work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Club Car has been one of the most respected names in the golf industry for more than half a century. The Club Car product portfolio has grown to include much more than golf cars, now encompassing golf and commercial utility vehicles, multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, rough-terrain and off-road utility vehicles and street legal low-speed vehicles for commercial and consumer markets. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit ingersollrand.com.