Industry News - November/December 2009

In the face of mounting energy costs, some courses are not standing idly by while their meters churn. The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Course in Hong Kong recently became the world’s first golf facility and the Sebonack Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y., the first U.S. golf club to power their entire golf car fleets with solar energy. Both courses retrofitted their existing Club Car fleets using the SolarDrive system, which is part of the Club Car Solutions Network.

A study of energy used by the Golf Resource Group recently concluded that most golf courses use between 250,000 and 5 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity in their annual operations. At the high end, that’s equivalent to the amount of electricity used in 278 2,500-square-foot houses, according to the report from the Phoenix-based research firm.

“Power costs are very expensive here on Long Island and are getting more expensive around the world,” said Michael Pascucci, owner of the Sebonack GC, which is ranked No. 7 in  Golfweek’s 100 Best Modern Courses and No. 39 in Golf Digest’s American’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. “Why not take advantage of the free solar power we have on earth?”

But reducing the charging requirements for the club’s 40 golf cars and lower it’s electric bill isn’t the only reason Pascucci retrofitted his fleet with solar canopies.

“We penciled it our and concluded we were going to get our money back pretty easily,” said Pascucci, who first saw the solar canopy system while playing golf with Ernie Els in Jupiter Florida, last winter. “But even if the numbers weren’t as strong as they are, I still would have done it.” The price of SolarDrive panels (normally $2,700) often can be defrayed by approximately 30 percent with tax incentives.  For information about tax credits and incentives when purchasing products that promote energy efficiency through solar technologies, go to

Pascucci thinks Sebonack members will be impressed that their club is going green. “I think it’s really a positive thing for our members and their guests to see that they’re not using any energy while they’re riding around on the sun’s power. It makes a statement, “ Pascucci said. The SolarDrive–equipped golf cars capture and convert daylight into energy that can be used to power the vehicle (on sunny or cloudy days) and to supplement energy created by the car’s electric batteries. Pascucci calls the system “a major industry innovation.”

The solar –cell roof panels installed on 40 cars at Sebonack and on 205 cars at The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course were designed and engineered by SolarDrive, a Denmark-based firm specializing in off-grid, solar technology for mobile use. SolarDrive and Club Car entered a marketing alliance earlier this year to promote the use of solar energy.

The high-profile nature of Sebonack and Jockey Club, and their decisions to go all solar, are expected to lead other courses to evaluate the technology, according to Mike Read, marketing director for Club Car’s golf car category. “The need to conserve energy as a means of lowering costs combined with more widespread environmental awareness makes solar energy an attractive strategy for many courses,” he said. “We think we’ll see more courses here and in other parts of the world take a serious look at solar.”

For more information on Club Car visit:, or to learn more about SolarDrive visit:

JH Global Services, Inc. DBA Star Electric Vehicles, a Greenville South Carolina based company, just received Certification from the IRS which offers consumers a $5,335 tax credit for purchasing one of ten qualifying Star Electric Vehicle models. This tax credit is part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA).

Star-BN48-2-NEV/LSV: $4234.72
Star-B48-6-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-6SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-B48-2-NEV/LSV: $4234.72
Star-48-2-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-6-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-B48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-4SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48L-4SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-BN48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48-4-NEV/LSV: $5335.60
Star-48L-6SF-NEV/LSV: $5335.60

For Perspective, these vehicles generally retail for less than $8,000. This means that consumers can buy a new Star Electric Vehicle for less than $8,000 and get a direct tax savings of $5,335! While this credit will likely be extended beyond 2009, the bill currently requires the purchase to take place prior to December 31, 2009. Equally great news is that businesses can purchase Star Vehicles and take advantage of the same tax credit.

All the Star LSVs are manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, with 4 wheels, less than 3000lbs, and draw power from re-chargeable batteries with a capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours. Each of the model has an-board or off-board charger for re-charging the batteries by plug-in to an electric outlet, and all the Star LSVs can maintain a speed of 20MPH minimum and no more than 25MPH in one mile on a paved level surface. For more details go to:

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has awarded scholarships to 12 college students as part of the GCSAA Scholars Program administered by GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, The Environmental Institute for Golf.

Sean Elverd is the first place winner in the competition. He receives a $6,000 scholarship and is honored as the Mendenhall Award Winner. Elverd, a senior from Chattanooga, Tenn., is a turfgrass science and management major at the University of Tennessee.

The second place winner, Thomas Ham, receives a $5,000 award and is designated as the recipient of the Allan MacCurrach Award. The MacCurrah Award is funded by the PGA Tour. Ham is from Jenison, Mich., and is in his final year of a golf course turfgrass management certificate at Michigan State University.

Both Elverd and Ham also will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2010 GCSAA Education Conference (Feb. 8-12) and Golf Industry Show (Feb. 10-11) in San Diego.

Niels Dokkuma, an international student at Penn State University, was awarded a $2,500 Ambassador Award. The following students were awarded stipends ranging from $2,500 to $500:

Joshua Lewis, Oregon State University, $2,500
Steven Hutzell, University of Maryland, $2,500
Scott Wasser, University of Arkansas, $2,000
Glen Obear, University of Wisconsin, $2,000
Diego Penapareja, Michigan State University, $1,500
Brian Ervin, Colorado State University, $1,500
Roberty Pray, Michigan State University, $1,500
Manuel Gonzalez, Michigan State University, $500
Matt Cartsens, Washington State University, $500

The GCSAA Scholars Program, funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment, was developed to recognize outstanding students planning careers in golf course management. Winners were selected to receive scholarship awards based on the final ranking in a competition judged by GCSAA’s Scholarship Committee. Factors considered were academic achievement, potential to become a leading professional, employment history, extracurricular activities, and recommendations form a superintendent with whom the student has worked and a current academic advisor.

Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to golf/turf management and be a GCSAA member. Undergraduate applicants must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one-year of full-time study in an appropriate major. For more information, visit

Columbia ParCar Corp. Announced it has Landed an order for (799) vehicles from the General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service. “This is the single largest order ever for electric-powered, Low Speed Vehicles,” Todd Sauey, Columbia’s President, acknowledged. “We are especially proud to win contract considering the lengthy and stiff competition we faced against several other manufacturers in our industry.”

Some of the vehicles that the U.S. Army will receive are similar to the one used by the Police department in Reedsburg, Wisconsin where Columbia is headquartered.

The all-electric vehicles are destined for (47) separate U.S. Army installations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Low Speed Vehicles, sometimes referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are a part of the Army’s far-reaching energy security strategy. It’s designed to save energy and money, to wean the Army from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the U.S. Army, the (799) vehicles are part of a three-year plan to replace 4,000 non-tactical gasoline-powered vehicles used for passenger transport, security patrol, maintenance, and delivery services.

The company is pleased to win this bid and is gearing up to fill the contract. “Securing such a significant order for our company helps the local economy and has a positive impact on job growth here in Wisconsin and throughout our supplier base, as well, “Sauey said.  “We have hit the ground running and are working to meet the aggressive delivery schedule the government established to meet the Army’s objectives.

“Columbia officials shared information from a January news release in which the U.S. Army reported estimated annual energy savings of $740 for each electric vehicle used in place of a gasoline-powered car.  “Savings more than $500,000 each year by deploying only 799 vehicles in a fleet of more than 70,000 is a strong driver for any organization. It also is a great example of how these vehicles are not only good for the environment and our nation’s energy policy, but good for the economy as well,” Breckley added. For more information on Columbia Par Car Corp. please visit

New Polaris™ Set to Roll into Dealerships this Fall

Polaris Industries Inc. recently announced the release of its new low-emission, electric-powered neighborhood vehicle, The Polaris Breeze™. With more standard features than any other vehicle in its class, this unique, all-electric vehicle combines practicality with the fun and freedom that consumers have come to expect from Polaris. Starting at $7,499, the Breeze offers versatility and value unmatched by other vehicles. The Breeze will be available for test rides and purchase beginning in September 2009, at select Polaris Neighborhood Vehicle dealerships. The vehicles will appear throughout an expanded network of dealerships in spring 2010.

“The Breeze offers an easy, economical and fun way to get around,” said Marc Tullemans, Director of Polaris’ Neighborhood Vehicle business. “Polaris has always looked for new opportunities to reach consumers with innovative and exciting vehicles. With the Breeze, we’ve provided all of this packaged in a low-emission, all-electric vehicle with unmatched styling and versatility.”

Polaris products have earned the reputation of being innovative and well-built over the past 55 years, and the Breeze is no exception. With its entirely electric operating system, the Breeze is a fun and fuel-saving alternative to cars for drivers making numerous short trips around their master planned community. The exclusive MyChoice™ rear-seat-conversion system allows the Breeze to adapt to any situation. Providing up to 50-mile range of use between charges, the Breeze is always ready for the next adventure.

“Whether hitting the links, making a grocery run, heading to the pool or just cruising around the community, the Breeze provides a versatile solution for the whole family,” said Greg Thompson, Marketing Manager, “Environmentally and economically friendly, the Breeze delivers value unrivaled in the market today.”

Attractive features and multipurpose functionality makes the Breeze a class-leading vehicle. Its industry-first MyChoice rear-seat-conversion, which can be performed in just 60 seconds, allows consumers to use the vehicle as a golf cart, passenger vehicle for up to four, or cargo carrier. These conversions can be performed by anyone at anytime, making the Breeze as spontaneous as its owner. Designed for great riding comfort, the Breeze features an adjustable driver’s side backrest, contoured seating for all passengers and advanced suspension for the smoothest possible ride. The Breeze delivers on a variety of practical features as well, with retractable seat belts, plenty of on-board storage, adjustable hi-/lo-beam headlights and a spacious cab, allowing riders to easily get in and out with enough vertical space to provide ample head room for all passengers.

Built by a company with a name synonymous with redefining recreational vehicles, the Polaris Breeze promises to stand our from other neighborhood vehicles, packaging the hallmarks of Polaris innovation and style into an electric vehicle that’s smart, safe, and fun for the  whole family.

Information is available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage at

Two hundred attendees of the 2010 Golf Industry Show in San Diego will partner with the San Diego Food Bank Feb. 8 to help fight hunger, feed those in need and give back to the community.

The Golf Industry Show will send two shifts of 100 volunteers, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, from the San Diego Convention Center to the work site. In addition, during the entire week of the Golf Industry Show and accompanying education conferences, Feb. 8-13, attendees will have the opportunity to donate food and money a the convention center.

Registration for the Golf Industry Show service project opens Oct. 1 at with a 200-volunteer limit closing no later than Dec. 31. For more information contact Kyla Dotson, GCSAA marketing specialist, at 1-800-472-7878.

The Tomberlin Group has entered into an agreement with Sheffield Financial to offer consumer financing for its line of Low Speed Vehicles’ to its nationwide dealer network. Tomberlin™ manufactures electric vehicles ranging from the E-Merge Series; America’s best selling low speed vehicle model to the recently introduced Anvil which was featured on CBS, Fox Business News and the Bloomberg Financial Network. Tomberlin is also launching a powerful AC drive electric four by four utility vehicle under the model name “Vanish” that will ship to dealers during December and features a Hybrid Camo package, gearbox with six speed settings and a range exceeding fifty miles.

“Our recent agreement with Sheffield Financial to extend installment consumer financing for Tomberlin products is another example of our commitment to our dealers to give them as many tools as possible to close sales, grow their business and move inventory,” stated Ed Buckle.

“We feel that our cutting edge products are what consumers are demanding as they become increasingly more aware of the product advantages our brand offers.” said Chris Plummer,  “Combining these products with sensible retail oriented programs reflects our spirit of partnering with our dealers to assist in driving retail. We believe we have the finest dealer network in the industry and we are increasingly seeking only the best of the best.” stated Chris Plummer.   Plummer went on to say that “product innovation is part of our teams DNA, and as long as the only barriers are our imagination we will do well”

For more information on Tomberlin products, visit More information about Sheffield Financial is available at and

Kitchener based Navitas Technologies Ltd; a division of Tersus Energy Plc announced that Accelerated Systems Inc. of Waterloo has acquired the assets of Navitas effective August, 31, 2009.

In a statement issued by Steve Amis Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Navitas, “We are all excited about the technologies and resources that Accelerated Systems brings to our Navitas customers. Our customer’s will initially experience no more than an address change. Email addresses, fax and telephone numbers will remain the same, but ASI’s knowledge and experience will certainly translate quickly into improved products and services. Our senior management and staff have all made the transition”.

In a discussion with Rob Larking and Gang Pan, Co-CEO’s of Accelerated Systems Inc. “The acquisition of Navitas fits clearly into the overall business plan at ASI and we feel that we can help the company grow effectively. ASI and Navitas have common founders and ASi’s staff brings over a decade of experience in the motor and controls market”.

Like all companies under the ASI umbrella Navitas will operate as a separate division drawing on the technical expertise within ASI in order to serve its present customer base. For more information, please contact, Steve Amis, Vice President Sales at

ATG (NovDec09) - Controller Testing

How do I test a controller?
RM - Los Angeles, CA

Another one of those questions without a quick easy answer. Everyone from a dealer to an end user wants that quick easy fix! What the industry has done for us is to create a system of easy testing, IF you have the proper test equipment. Test equipment such as programmers has been around for many years. The problem is the cost! Secondly one does not fit all. So, what is an individual to do? My staff and I field this question on a daily basis many times over! So I am going to give you some basic principles and testing without the use of high dollar programming equipment.

First understand a controller is part of a system and does not stand alone. Secondly understand testing is done in two directions. One I like to call the Known Factor and one I call the Unknown Factor. So with those thoughts in mind let’s use the following example.

•           What brand of car?
•           What type of system is in the car SepEx or Series?
•           What does the car do or not do?

Let’s say for this example we have a Club Car IQ system. The car does not run. What is the first action taken at this point?

This is where we start with known factors. First we retrieve the correct wiring diagram for that system. We know the car must have a voltage supply and that is the battery pack so we confirm proper voltage OCV and load voltage. Next we confirm we have conductors for the voltage to flow. In other words check all power cables, wiring and perform a good visual inspection.

Now we look at the Unknown Factors. What we do not know at this point is what does the solenoid do (does it click)? You do not go any further with trouble shooting until we determine what is going on with the solenoid.

Solenoid clicks but does not run. Check the main contacts for being open. If open, replace the solenoid. If the solenoid checks good then we go on to motor/controller testing. Keep in mind we are testing a system so we are testing everything around the controller at this point. Too often we just jump the gun and fail to follow procedure. Be patient and go step by step to each area of testing. Now we check the motor for continuity through F1 to F2 and A1 to A2 with one each of the cables removed. If we have continuity then we can say a circuit exists though the motor. So, at this point we have checked everything around the controller, so that leaves only one thing, a defective controller.

Going back to the solenoid, it does not click. First we determine if voltage is present across the small solenoid terminals. If we read 48 volts and the solenoid does not click, replace the solenoid. If you do not read voltage we have to determine where we are losing the voltage. Check voltage at the solid blue wire. Now we move our negative voltmeter lead to battery number six negative terminal and leave the red voltmeter lead connected to the small blue wire. Activate the system and if 48 volts is not read we have issues in the key switch, tow switch to battery positive circuit. If we read 48 volts then check for a negative potential on the blue wire with white stripe. Connect the black voltmeter lead to the blue wire with white stripe and move the red voltmeter lead to battery number one positive terminal. Activate the system and if 48 volts is not present we need to check voltage potentials at the controller inputs.

iq-diagram-guru-novdec09This is why it is important to have the correct wiring diagram for the car! Now we have to test in-put voltages to the controller. On this particular car system the computer has a lot to do with solenoid activation. Notice that the yellow wire from the computer is connected to the foot pedal switch and to the controller. This tells us we must see 48 volts positive at pin 6 on the controller at system activation. If you do not you have wiring issues, foot switch issues, key switch issues, tow switch issues or battery connection issues. This positive voltage must be seen in order for the controller to send out a negative input to the solenoid. You must also see voltage at the red computer wire, light blue, green/white wires to and from the computer (positive). If all is well then check input voltages at pin 6,10,8, and 9 on the controller (positive). Voltages present and no solenoid activation; replace the controller. Voltage not present; replace the computer or find where voltage to the computer/controller is missing. Also confirm POT (potentiometer/ITS) voltage or resistance values. At this point you have tested the system and can now determine if the controller is defective.

comp-wires-guru-novdec09Plain and simple procedure without the use of high dollar test equipment!

CS (NovDec09) - Fairplay’s New EVE LSV

gcn-novdec09-coverFAIRPLAY’S NEW EVE LSV

Over the last few years, more and more people have embraced Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV’s) and now commonly referred to as Low Speed Vehicles (LSV’s).  Unless you have been living in a vacuum, you know the Federal Government has significant tax credit in place through the end of this year for qualified LSV’s.  Many “Golf Car Dealers” have jumped on the band wagon while others are sitting on the sidelines.

If you are now motivated to get going, we suggest you contact a LSV supplier and find out if your market is available.  One of the benefits of being a licensed dealer is that most states protect dealers’ territory with restrictions on how close another dealer with the same brand can be located.   One way to determine a quality dealer is networking.  Contact some of your trusted colleagues in the business that have LSV’s already and get their opinions.  Surf the web and make some calls.

The EVE by Fairplay (on the cover) is one of the more popular LSV’s offered.  Fairplay has been in the electric vehicle business for over 5 years.  There home office is in Colorado, where all the sales, marketing, tech support and new production development.  The cars are assembled in California facility with a fair amount of US content.

The EVE LSV comes in two models. The ECO is the base model with a lower cost and more basic features. The DELUX (featured on the cover) has added features, such as custom aluminum wheels with upgraded tires, side turn indicator lights, Suite Seats with the distinctive embroidered EVE logo, in dash analog clock, and upgraded trim packages with burl wood or carbon fiber on the dash and steering wheel. Both models feature DOT approved safety features to keep you and your passengers safe such as four wheel brakes, one piece windshield, three point harness seat belts, side turn signals, DOT approved wheels and tires, side mirrors and a 100% electric motor capable of speeds of up to 25 mph to keep up with traffic.

To help market the EVE LSV line, Fairplay offers a variety of ways for dealers to promote the brand. An example is an attractive, prominent sign for display at the dealers business and a smaller “Electric Car Parking Only” sign, both of which are made from UV stable vinyl mounted on an aluminum plate to allow years of use. Other marketing support includes; co-op dollars for yellow pages advertising and print media to assist dealers in aligning their name with the EVE products and draw the growing number of consumers looking for an alternative form of transportation.

One of the popular selling features of the Fairplay EVE vehicle is the 44% US parts content and assembly work done right here in the USA. They use D&D motors made in New York state, front hydraulic brake system from Jake’s in Pennsylvania, Curtis controllers from the Dominican Republic, Trojan batteries are made in Georgia, with seats made by Wise Seats in Arkansas and Suite Seats from Minnesota, and Stretch Plastics manufactures the DOT windshield in California, just to mention a few.

Fairplay is developing more LSV models using both high speed DC and AC configurations. They are working more competitively priced commercial vehicles that will be similar to their popular HOSS and TRANSPORT vehicle.

The EVE LSV web site is, the full Fairplay line at

TS (NovDec09) - EX-Ray Speedometer

By: Matt Vallez

The other day I received a call from Systems Designer Tony Thorn, a friend and professional acquaintance who works at Alltrax. He was all excited about a new speedometer he had just developed and brought to market. Tony (who invented the thing) ought to be excited, but his excitement was unusually contagious because he really believes in what he has created. After talking about the new device, with Tony for about a half hour I wanted to put my hands on one and try it out myself. So a week later I received a small box delivered to my attention, there it was about the size of a smallish desk top calculator a speedometer for any electric vehicle with a nice big display that anyone’s grandmother could read without glasses.

But where the rubber hits the road is when you install the thing and see how it works. The next weekend I made off with a Nivel Company Golf Car, destination the Vallez experimental garage, from which many bikes and skateboards have never returned and one old Land Rover remains on life support. Once there I got the thing out and read through the instructions. I decide it will be easy and jump in with both feet; I’ll have this thing installed in no time flat. I was correct with the exception of some difficultly I had removing the decorative steering column cover, it had to go or be anchored so as not to rotate when the speedometer is mounted on it. It seemed easier to just remove it.

Other than that, the install was easy with excellent instructions, when I bothered to read them. There are also a lot of pictures that help with the most technical parts. Don’t be freaked out by all the parts you get either, they are for all applications so you only use some of what you see. I only used two clamps and two of the small brackets. Once all the cables are in place and the unit is powered up so the backlight comes on your in business. Now by measuring the height of the tire and multiplying by pi and then a conversion factor from inches to millimeters you have your calibration number. Calibrating the thing for your specific tire and wheel set up only requires a short run through the prompts and some other questions and the speedometer is all ready for action.

I get out on the road and bring the golf car up to speed and low and behold, there was 18 displayed on the speedometer, I was impressed. It has many other features including an odometer, clock and a heat sensor for your electric or gas motor. There are more but I am almost out of time. This is a great new device and will become more and more popular as people continue to use golf cars for everything they previously used a car for. This LSV movement is really picking up momentum with the Stimulus money getting spread all around in the form of tax credits.

Allowing LSV’s “low speed vehicles” on public roads has not been without controversy since they do not meet all of the DHST or DOT safety requirements. Getting your LSV registered for on road will require certain safety features added or updated including seat belts, headlights, taillights, and AS-5 compliant windshields. Some states also require rear view mirrors, reflectors, and speedometers with non-resettable odometers. Many states treat a moving violation on a golf car the same as if you were in a regular car. This includes speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving just to mention a few. This new device won’t keep you sober, but it will tell you how fast you are traveling which hopefully will be enough to keep you out of the long arm of the law.

Nivel now has in stock the new EX-RAY Speedometer, so don’t take my word for it try one of these out for your self. This is a nice new device that one day soon will become a standard on all golf cars.

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