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October 05, 2015 2 min read

Although gas prices are at an all time low, increasing numbers of Americans are opting for electric vehicles instead of cars. When you hear "electric car," your first thought may be a Tesla or trendy hybrid. But that would be a mistake because the numbers of growing electric vehicle drivers are driving neighborhood, low-speed electric vehicles, more commonly known as golf carts. Many look like miniature hot rods, some look like monster trucks and some conjure the feel of old LA low riders. 

Many residents of golf course communities utilize their golf carts as their primary mode of transportation. Some even own two or more golf carts. Usually one is for golf and others are for getting around the community, visiting, shopping and restaurants in golf cart style.

Many people who move to The Villages, Florida, or other golf cart favored communities trade in their cars for customized golf cart to get around town. A visit to The Villages will quickly reveal a tricked-out California Roadster, a Hummer styled cart and a 1957 Chevy. All of the carts have automotive styled safety features including seat belts, turn signals and disc brakes.

What should electric vehicles learn from golf carts?


The Villages is a 55-year old and older community featuring town squares, golf courses, shopping areas and restaurants all connected by golf cart paths. There are more carts than cars in the community. The Villages contains over 60,000 golf carts.

Despite the fact that golf carts have a top speed of 25 miles per hour, electric powered carts save lots of money. Not having to fill up your gas vehicle and not having to replace high dollar car parts are two major ways that residents in golf cart communities enjoy savings.

Most golf carts, when the batteries are properly maintained, run about 60 miles between charges and the components of electric golf carts are fairly simple and can be repaired at home most times. Federal tax breaks are also available for many street legal carts. And many of the custom golf carts that are built today have more features than a standard vehicle.

Three placed that electric vehicles, especially golf carts, are on the rise are:

  1. College campuses and self-contained golfing neighborhoods where a traditional vehicle is not needed.
  2. Delivery vehicles for urban areas, such as New York City.
  3. Emerging markets where people are unable to afford a traditional vehicle and the expenses that go along with it.

Traffic congestion is not an issue in areas where golf carts are the primary form of transportation. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, but it isn't the vehicles that one would think.  Move over Tesla...


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