Use a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle for Short Trips


| October/November 2006


If you just need a vehicle for short trips around your neighborhood, then you might consider buying a 'neighborhood electric vehicle,' or NEV. In most states, these 'carlets' can legally travel on public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

? These small, quiet and inexpensive cars can travel 25 mph for up to 30 miles before their lead-acid batteries must be recharged. To keep the batteries charged, you must plug in the NEV.

? The estimated annual cost to drive an NEV 100 miles a week (at 8 cents per kilowatt-hour) is only about $58.

? NEVs (as well as all electric vehicles) are marvelously energy-efficient: More than 90 percent of the energy imparted to the motor is turned into useful work; more than 85 percent of the energy used to charge the batteries is stored effectively. In contrast, the maximum theoretical efficiency of the typical gas engine is about 30 percent; in diesel engines it is 35 percent. This means that only a tiny fraction of that energy in a gallon of gas actually ends up doing useful work ? the rest is wasted as heat.

So next time you need to buy an energy-efficient vehicle for short trips around town, give NEVs a look ? you might decide they are the perfect choice.

Some NEV manufacturers:
? Global Electric Motorcar (GEM)
? Cart-Rite
? Columbia ParCar
? Dynasty Electric Car



Thomas Bailey
6/22/2009 6:44:01 AM

Short trips around the neighborhood? I'd rather walk the distances involved. For somewhat longer distances, I go for the bike. I could easily ride a bike a distance that would require the car to be recharged twice, three, maybe even four times. My longest bike ride was about 80 miles, from Sunnyvale to San Francisco and back.


RIK kne
2/21/2007 12:00:00 AM

I don't see any savings in reality here on the electric vehicles. The actual electric rates in Massachusetts are double. Yes Double! So your cost of 100 miles at .16 is actually $116.00 not $58.00. My Toyota tacoma gets 300 miles at a cost of $35.00 per week. Where are these .08 cent rates in the mideast? Do not forget to add in all the taxes that are based on consumption. These are the real rates. This is the reason you do not see any of these vehicles in this state. There is no efficency in owning an electrical vehicle here. I cannot imagine what the insurance company would charge to put this on the road and the excise tax also puts these out of reach if you have to maintain multiple vehicles.


Janice Black
11/2/2006 12:00:00 AM

Please be aware that quiet vehicles like these and some of the new hybrids pose an extra hazard to pedestrians. (My teenage son recently pointed this out to me after having narrowly avoided being run down by one!) Most of us have acquired a lifetime habit of listening for vehicles as well as watching for them, but the newer, quieter vehicles like this simply cannot be heard as they approach. Please, whether you are driving one or walking, remember to exercise extra caution!






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