TS (JanFeb08) - AC Motors

By: Matt Vallez

A portion of this article was originally published in the September / October 2005 Golf Car News Magazine. It has been updated to reflect current events.


When you hear AC/DC what is the first thing that comes to mind? I think of a rock band from the 1970’s that played some of the best songs I can remember. When you talk AC/DC in the context of golf car motors, you are speaking a hot topic that is being explored on every level within our industry. The best performing motors available for golf car applications currently are AC motors. They have more torque and are more efficient than either DC series or DC shunt wound motors. AC motors go further on a charge and have a lower cost per horsepower than DC motors. The main drawback to AC is the cost of the systems currently available, when this changes, DC motors will go the way of resister speed control.


AC motors for golf car applications have been available for 13 years, but in the last few years they have become more popular. They are currently offered as a premium option for Western Golf Cars and through Hi Performance Golf Cars. Hi Performance Golf Cars Inc. WWW.hiperformancegolfcars.com are the manufactures of the only AC systems currently available for golf car applications. Brian and Darren Seymour cut their teeth developing motors for industrial use and the electric car industry and their company has done so for 30 years. More recently they were able to develop an AC induction electric motor system for golf cars and neighborhood electric vehicles, and like the rock band from the 1970, it kicks ass.


Well, things have changed a lot in the last three plus years. The top two paragraphs were written three years ago and were an accurate prediction as to what was currently happening. The cost came down far enough for EZGO to switch the motor and controller to AC power, in their new, long awaited, RXV fleet golf car. This vehicle is a revolution in golf cars. The AC power is just the starting point.


AC power has been the power method of choice for the fork lift industry for several years. EZGO has taken this technology and placed it into a golf car. They did an excellent job of it from what I have seen so far. EZGO decided to use 48 volts of power for the new system a departure from the 36 volt system that only EZGO was previously still using. They started with 4, 12 volt deep cycle Trojan batteries that make up the new EZGO power plant. The batteries are tucked into a composite material battery box sitting on welded steel with DuraShield epoxy coating frame as the foundation.


The heart of the system is the 48 volt AC controller that also converts the DC battery power to AC. This allows EZGO to use a brushless 3-phase induction motor.  The brushless feature is the key aspect that puts this system, head and shoulders above the DC step ex motor controller system. You feel it as soon as you touch the accelerator pedal, instant complete control of the car. Want to go faster, press down, slow down, let up. The new EZGO RXV is so responsive you have to remind yourself you are sitting in a golf car and not a sports car, at least for the first 10 mph. This feeling is the benefit of having an AC system. The accelerator pedal is so responsive you may never use the brake, or as EZGO has named it the emergency brake. 


The AC systems are also more efficient, with power cost’s going higher and everyone turning green these days this is an important feature. Being able to run an extra round between charges or just have the charger on for a shorter cycle can be a huge benefit. Time will tell if EZGO has put together a golf car that is as remarkable as it drives. The other manufactures have to be watching how well this AC system actually performs out in the real world. EZGO resisted the change to 48 volt for a long time, over ten years. Will the others resist the change to the AC motor and controller combination?


Almost as exciting as the AC system in the new EZGO, was the overall level of design and technology and thought involved in the finished product. It is easily five years ahead of anything manufactured outside the USA. With all the price pressure from less expensive golf cars manufactured elsewhere, it is reassuring to see the clear distinction between the latest the USA can bring to market and all the rest.

Industry News - January/February 2008


Augusta, GA – E-Z-Go, a Textron Inc. Company unveiled its new, much anticipated fleet golf car – engineered to deliver reliability, superior performance, operating efficiency and safety through an array of enhanced features and innovations.


The E-Z-GO RXV represents a major step forward in golf car technology. The new vehicle is expected to deliver exceptional value to golf course operators through reduced energy and maintenance costs, and an unsurpassed experience for golfers through best-in-class power, control, comfort and safety. The RXV’s classic yet contemporary lines make it a smart addition to the E-Z-GO family.


The RXV is available in electric and gas models. The existing TX model, introduced in 1995 and the best-selling fleet golf car in company history will remain a key component in E-Z-GO’s lineup.


“Years of intense work and dedication by E-Z-GO’s marketing, design and engineering teams have produced what we believe is the finest golf car ever built,” says John L. Garrison, President of E-Z-GO. “We consider the RXV to be a “game changer” at all levels. Our golf course partners will see even quicker fleet turnaround times, lower energy, fuel and maintenance expenses, and easier upkeep. Golfers will discover a vehicle that rides, handles and stops unlike any golf car they’ve driven, with many new rider comforts. The E-Z-GO RXV delivers the reliability customers expect, the value their operation requires, and the experience their golfers demand.”


The numerous RXV innovations, features and benefits include:
 AC drive (electric): Unprecedented for an electric golf car, the RXV’s drive train uses an alternating current motor, not the traditional direct current motor, generating more power and longer operating time between battery charges. The RXV is up to 30-percent more efficient than direct-current golf cars, boasting a 48-volt motor – enabling a 10-percent improvement in daily range.
 Dual-braking system (electric): A fail-safe park brake automatically engages when the RXV stops – requiring no foot pedal engagement. The industry-first auto braking system brakes automatically on steep slopes when needed and can easily hold a 40-percent grade. This “drive-by-wire” system maintains constant speeds safely and easily. The system supplies recharge to the batteries whenever brakes are applied, enhancing efficiency by up to 30 percent, keeping the vehicle on the course longer and reducing long-term operating costs.
 Energy transfer bumpers (electric and gas): The RXV features front, back and side bumpers, positioned to minimize damage by absorbing and transferring energy from impacts into the frame rather than the engine or components. The front and rear bumpers are rated to withstand impacts of 5 MPH; side bumpers are rated for 5 MPH collisions.
 Kawasaki high-performance 13-HP engine (gas): This engine sets new benchmarks for performance — even on the hilliest terrain. With a larger cylinder and lower RPM, it delivers better fuel economy with less noise. And more miles per gallon mean greater savings for course operators.
 Warranty: The reliability of the new RXV is backed by the most comprehensive warranty in the industry – four-year, bumper-to-bumper coverage. E-Z-GO’s batteries are guaranteed to last for four years, 1,200 rounds or 21,500 amp hours – whichever comes first – for 36 holes of golf a day, every day.
 Improved golfer experience: The RXV features an automotive-style, A-arm suspension with coil over spring shock providing a smooth, comfortable ride. It also features added storage space while cup and ball holders are within easy reach of driver and passenger. Redesigned hip restraints and thicker foam padding ensure a comfortable ride; a wider canopy prevents rain from dripping inside the vehicle; a larger bag well accommodates today’s biggest golf bags.
 Fresh exterior styling: Retaining the classic E-Z-GO look while incorporating up-to-date design elements, the RXV boasts a boldly elegant appearance. Its inviting style makes the RXV as visually appealing as it is enjoyable to drive.
 Environmentally friendly operation: The RXV electric model requires less energy to charge and operate, minimizing the vehicle’s “carbon footprint” and reducing hazardous waste. And its whisper quiet engine practically eliminates noise pollution. The RXV gas model is compliant with the stringent emissions standards of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and improves fuel economy by up to 52 percent. The RXV’s seats are made from 100-percent recycled foam.
 Safety comes first: In addition to the advantages of dual braking and energy transfer bumpers, the RXV has many features designed to keep golfers safe and secure. Its limited slip differential delivers 25-percent better traction and is especially effective on wet or sandy soil. A slip resistant floormat gives golfers firm footing in wet conditions, while the RXV’s canopy has double-wall construction and 50-percent thicker struts.


“Our passionate and talented E-Z-GO team considered every mechanical, ergonomic and safety element of the golf car, producing a vehicle of exceptional quality,” Garrison says. “In designing the RXV, we listened to our customers and incorporated their feedback. Our goal was to completely re-imagine the golf car in a way that produced measurable results for course owners, along with performance that truly enhanced the golf experience. I’m proud to say our team has delivered on all counts.”




Charleston, S.C. – Club Car will continue its industry-leading support of golf course owners and operators as the NGCOA’s exclusive Premier Partner, according to Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA. The announcement of the multi-year sponsorship extension was made today at NGCOA headquarters here and at Club Car’s annual sales meeting at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.


“Club Car’s commitment to the association and our members is unprecedented in the history of our organization,” Hughes said. “We look forward to building on the success of the last six years in ways that will continue to help our members and enhance the Club Car brand.”


Under terms of the agreement, Club Car, which became the NGCOA’s first exclusive Premier Partner in 2002, will continue to work with the association to provide products and services that support the growth of the game and the success of members’ businesses. In addition to its support of educational programs and networking opportunities at the national and chapter levels, Club Car also provides assistance to NGCOA members through the Club Car Solutions Network. The Solutions Network gives owners and operators access to a wide range of complementary products and services, including those offered by Club Car parent company Ingersoll Rand.


For more information on Club Car, go to www.clubcar.com.



SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA, - Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries, today announced that it has appointed Elke Hirschman as Vice President of Marketing.  Leveraging nearly 15 years of product, marketing strategy, branding and customer marketing experience, Hirschman will oversee all domestic and international marketing efforts for Trojan Battery.

Hirschman joins Trojan Battery from Quantum Corporation, a global supplier of data storage solutions, where she served as Director of Marketing. In this position, she oversaw a 10-person global team, managed a multimillion-dollar annual budget and was responsible for marketing communications, product introduction, advertising, branding, web and business development marketing.

“Elke’s proven expertise in product management, branding and customer marketing will help further strengthen Trojan Battery’s market position and enhance our efforts in driving innovation in our industry,” said David Godber, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Trojan Battery.  “With Trojan’s continuous investments, such as our new state-of-art manufacturing facility in Sandersville, Georgia, we look forward to Elke’s marketing contributions driving additional business growth.”

Hirschman holds an MBA from the Pepperdine University and a BS in Marketing from the University of Southern California. 


For Media inquiries please contact: Kari Weinberger, Marketing Communications at 562-236-3038 or kweinberger@trojanbattery.com.



AUGUSTA, GA – Phil Tralies, president and CEO of Club Car for the past six years, has been named chairman and CEO. Gary Michel, a longtime executive within parent company Ingersoll Rand, will assume the newly created position of president and chief operating officer.


The organizational changes position Tralies to focus on developing strategic business opportunities in emerging domestic and international markets, as well as continue to strengthen key customer and industry relationships, according to Jim Bolch, president of Ingersoll Rand’s Industrial Technologies sector. Michel will be responsible for overseeing Club Car’s day-to-day business operations, and in concert with Tralies, developing long-term strategy, Bolch added.


“Club Car has enjoyed consistent growth and profitability under Phil’s leadership. He has also emerged as one of golf’s leading advocates for the growth of the game. His ability to recognize new opportunities while building on Club Car’s respected position within the golf industry is a tremendous asset to our business going forward,” Bolch said.


Tralies was named president and CEO of Club Car in May 2001 after spending 25 years with Textron, a multi-industry company. While at Club Car, Tralies has overseen continued growth in golf (led by the introduction of the Precedent golf car) while leading the company into new markets, including commercial and consumer, where innovative vehicles such as the all-wheel-drive XRT have captured significant market share. Tralies also has led Club Car’s emergence as a global brand with a strong presence in a number of international markets.


Michel, who has 22 years of experience with Ingersoll Rand, joins Club Car after serving as president of the corporation’s Road Development and Utility Equipment businesses. He was also vice president and general manager of Ingersoll Rand’s Portable Power business.


Michel earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.


AUGUSTA, GA – Four years after introducing the most advanced golf car in its history, Club Car is doing it again. This time, on the heels of the 2004 launch of Precedent, company officials say Precedent i2 represents the next generation in golf car innovation and performance.


“Precedent i2 builds on what made Precedent a revolutionary golf car and makes it an even more reliable, better performing car for the course owner/operator and golfer,” said Phil Tralies, Club Car chairman and CEO. Precedent i2 and Precedent i2L, which includes a number of upgrades aimed at upscale facilities, will begin shipping in March.


To the casual observer, the Precedent i2 looks like its namesake. The exterior styling that set Precedent apart from three decades of angular-shaped golf cars has not been altered. But, in many respects, that’s where the similarity ends.


The Precedent changes start with the new Excel™ drive system, which continues the evolution of Club Car’s highly regarded electric platform with enhanced efficiency, reliability and control capabilities.


One of the key benefits of the more sophisticated system is that it increases the benefits of Precedent’s motor braking and regenerative braking features to provide greater control of the vehicle and a smoother ride. By lowering the car’s motor-braking capability to speeds near zero, the driver gains more control and assurance when descending hills. Increased motor braking also improves Precedent i2’s regenerative braking ability by capturing and returning more kinetic energy to the batteries. (In earlier Precedent models, regenerative braking occurred down to approximately 10 mph.) Improved regenerative braking could reduce energy costs by 20 percent over previous models.


With more energy being returned to the batteries, cars will require less charging and be able to stay on the course longer. Because the driver will apply less pressure to the mechanical brake, there will be less wear on brake parts, which will extend the life of the brake system and reduce costs. Golfers also will have a more secure feeling when they are on a severe down hill slope because the mechanical brake is being supported to a greater extent by regenerative braking.


In addition to the Excel system, Club Car also is introducing a new charging system and dash design and enhancing Precedent’s 360-degree bumper design.  The new high-capacity charging system reduces charging time and water consumption, and helps extend battery life by utilizing optimized charging algorithms. The vehicle’s dash area has been redesigned to make it easier to clean and to make golfers’ personal items more visible.


Precedent’s 360-degree wraparound bumper now has greater energy-absorbing ability to reduce impact damage to the car’s body and frame. The bumper also has been given a new texture that facilitates cleaning. Standard amenities on the Precedent i2L model include 10-inch rims and aluminum wheels, soft-grip steering wheel, custom logo, accent striping, premium windshield and canopy storage net. 



San Marcos, CA – Cart Mart Inc. San Diego’s oldest golf car dealer was selected to become the official supplier of golf, transportation and utility vehicles to Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, AZ. The contract calls for over 350 vehicles to be used for critical stadium operations at the University of Phoenix Stadium, January 2nd though February 15, 2008.


If you are not in the business, or if you have never needed one, most people would never think about golf cars. However, to Cart Mart, it’s al we think about. Maintaining the largest rental fleet of golf car, utility and transportation vehicles on the West coast has earned the business of the NFL, NBA, MLB, US Government and State and local agencies for 37 years. The vehicles we rent are a mix of the basic golf car that one would use to get from point A to point B, to the heavy duty electric flatbeds that carry kegs of beer, boxes and cameras. Even specialized vehicles that are used to remove injured players from the field are expected to show up in Phoenix come February.


This will be Cart Mart’s third Super Bowl as the primary contract holder for vehicles. Cart Mart also shared the contract in Houston in 2004 for Super Bowl XXXVIII. It’s obvious that the needs are increasing due to the game becoming such a heavily produced world wide event, and there are only so few companies in the country who can offer a total package. For Cart Mart, this package includes not only the vehicles, but also service, logistics, transportation and on site supervision.


Cart Mart, Inc. has been located in San Marcos, CA since 1972 and is one of the oldest golf and utility vehicle distributors in the country. What started out in El Paso Texas in 1959 has evolved into one of the most complete dealerships in the country. We represent Yamaha, Fairplay and Taylor-Dunn golf transportation and industrial vehicles. Cart Mart specializes in new and used car sales, inside and outside service, replacement parts and rentals of all major brands. Customers include, schools, hospitals, golf courses, shopping centers, apartment homes, stadiums, resorts, airports, municipalities, manufacturers and of course private individuals to name a few.


Call 800-660-4421 for more information or visit www.cartmart.com.



Cortlandt Manor, NY – In a comprehensive analysis of trends and latest developments in the small. Task-oriented vehicle (STOV) market, International market Solutions, LLC, finds strong gains in major- non-fleet markets for golf car-type vehicles and projects significant growth over the next five years, as total end market sales grow from $3.2 billion today to $5.5 billion in 2012.


The study, fourth in a series of biannual studies since 2000, is entitled, Golf Car-Type Vehicles and the Emerging Market for Small, Task-Oriented Vehicles in the United States: Trends 2000-2006; Forecasts to 2012. The small, task-oriented vehicle market includes golf-car type vehicles, privately-owned small vehicles and NEVs, and light and heavy duty utility vehicles. The study finds current new and used vehicle sales in this market to be in excess of 750,000 units.


Continuing an ongoing trend in the light portage and personal transportation segment, electric vehicles are projected to take an increasing share of this segment of the small, task-oriented vehicle market reaching nearly 300,000 units by 2012, representing over 70% of the market. Privately-owned vehicles such as NEVs and golf cars used in gated communities will continue to be a significant driver in electric vehicle market share.


“Heading into an environment of continuing increases in the cost of hydrocarbon-and bio-based fuels and stringent regulation of emissions, IMS sees major opportunities for small vehicle manufacturers across all segments, especially when it comes to electric power” states Metzger.  “Our study lays the groundwork not only for sales and marketing strategies, but long term corporate planning, as well.”


For additional information: Go to www.internationalmarketsolutions.com .


(Includes a detailed table of contents; or, Contact: Stephen Metzger, Managing Director, IMS (914) 293-7577, icaworld@optonline.net

CS (JanFeb08) - B&B Preferred


B&B Preferred got it’s start 7 years ago when Bobby Thomas of Electric Car Distributors in Rancho Mirage, California, and Britt Kennard were visiting one afternoon at Bobby’s sales location. Bobby mentioned that he felt like he was having to pay more than he should for specialty cowls and body pieces, that were being offered to him at the time. So Bobby and Britt decided at that time to form B&B Preferred.


The B&B Product Line: B&B currently offer three complete body-systems and 2 front cowl kits that fit the Club Car, E-Z-GO, and Yamaha chassis. Avalon: The Avalon model is their 2-passenger cart that has more of a traditional golf cart look while providing the comfort and utility one would expect in a high-end cart. Bolero: Their Bolero is their newest of the body-systems and is a 2 passenger golf cart when used with their bag holders, but becomes a 4 passenger cart when the two bag holders are removed.  The Bolero gives their owners a different look in a golf cart while still providing the comfort of a traditional golf cart. Z-Sport: The Z-Sports (named after the artist/designer, Zarryl) was designed for those customers who prefer the look of a sports car but the practically of having a 4 passenger cart when needed, or a 2 passenger cart when golf is on the agenda. Bolero Packer: Is a cross between the body-systems described above and the cowls below because the Packer simply consists of a front cowl, rear bed or hauling items, and with roof supports and roof, no seats, carpets, or accessories are included with the kit. Prestige cowl: The Prestige cowl is their single largest seller because it is only a front cowl (with front storage compartment), has a very low cost of purchase, and can easily be mounted.  The Prestige cowl fits all three of the OEM chassis. Presidente Cowl: Same as the Prestige cowl above, except only fits the Club Car Precedent chassis and also has the much needed front storage compartment.  Both the Prestige and Presidente cowls come complete with mounting bracket, headlights, marker lights, and complete wiring for the front cowl.


The best thing about all their cowls and body-systems is that every hole and mounting location has been pre-drilled and pre-fitted at the point of manufacturing, using a jig that was specifically designed from the original OEM chassis that they have at their plant. By doing this, the purchaser does not have to drill holes and worry about correct alignment. Also included with all cowls and body-systems is the correct mounting bracket, all bolts, nuts, washers, and screws that are needed for assembly are included.


For more information please contact: Sales: julie_bbpreffered@yahoo.com, 714-915-1385. Fax: 714-782-5634 or visit www.bbpreferred.com, www.nevsource.com.

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