Industry News - May/June 2015


Yamaha’s Alternating Current Electric Golf Car Delivers Highest Horsepower and Longest Range in the Industry

Yamaha Golf-Car Company unveiled its latest technological advancement, the Drive AC (alternating current) golf car, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, January 20-23.

The Yamaha Drive AC is the most powerful, cost efficient and reliable golf car on the market, offering many benefits, including:

The AC Advantage: Alternating current is the most efficient way to transmit electricity, delivering more voltage, while drawing fewer amps. By saving on amp-hours during a golf round, the Drive AC batteries last longer and require less electricity to recharge. Extended battery life leads to the option to extend lease terms, which reduces the cost of fleet ownership.

More Horsepower/Torque: The Drive AC is driven by a 6.7 horsepower engine, providing 50% more power and torque than its closest competitor. Torque is the ability of a rotating shaft or gear to overcome resistance. So, increased torque enables the Drive AC to better climb hills and travel faster and farther.

Motor Simplicity: The AC motor has fewer moving parts than a DC motor, meaning there is less to break down. Without brushes and some other parts found on DC motors, the Drive AC is inherently more reliable.

“The Drive AC represents the pinnacle of innovation from our Yamaha engineers and manufacturing team” according to Yamaha President Tom McDonald. “Its cost- effectiveness and dependability could potentially save a fleet operator thousands of dollars in operating costs.”

As an industry first, Electronic Fuel Injection is a standard feature for Yamaha gas golf cars, and offers many benefits over traditional carbureted fuel delivery systems, including: The greenest gasoline-powered golf car available, and with the industry’s smallest carbon footprint. Smoother, more responsive acceleration. No choke required. Unprecedented gas mileage

Both the Drive AC and the Drive EFI offer larger contoured seats, a broader window of entry and egress, maintenance-free rack and pinion steering, 360° wrap around bumper system, a bigger sweater basket and the largest bag wells in the market.

For more information us on the web at


Battery Watering Technologies attained ISO 9001:2008 certification on February 11, 2015.

The ISO 9001 standard is an internationally recognized standard that outlines requirements for an organization’s quality management system to enable consistent production of high quality products.

Battery Watering Technologies was audited by American Systems Registrar and passed without any “non-conformances”. For questions about the ISO program, or our quality standards, please contact Battery Watering Technologies at 336-714-0448.


The fastest and lightest golf cart ever made by Garia.

The creative collaboration between Mansory Design and Garia reaches new heights with this years exhibited model at the Geneva Auto Show 2015.

The Garia Mansory Prism is the fastest golf cart the duo has made to date with a top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) and an acceleration of 0-40 km/h (25mph) in less than 2 seconds thanks to new Samsung Lithium Batteries and an upgraded Curtis Controller. The speed is further assisted by a significant weight loss compared to a regular Garia Monaco Roadster of more than 150 kg, making this also the lightest Garia ever made.

Still suitable for golf due to its adjustable speed and regeneration settings via the machined aluminum knobs on the dashboard, the driver can opt for one of the three driving programs: “Golf” “Street” or “Race” - the last one powerful enough to spin its wheels on dry tarmac and lending the car a go-cart attitude in terms of handling and performance. Turn the switch to “Golf” and the top speed, acceleration and torque settings are adjusted to golf course accepted levels. This really is the ultimate golf car!

Made as a visualization of the customization program Garia offers its clients, the Garia Mansory Prism debuts chrome body panels and aluminum switches made in collaboration with German Bugatti supplier Kussmaul. Clear coated carbon fibre parts and leather seats comes from Mansory who offers a full official range of upgrades for all Garia models. All parts of the car are made from the highest quality materials only seen in high-end supercars and the aerospace industry. Skilled technicians assemble each car by hand to the highest specifications.

Most of the parts on the Garia Mansory Prism is available as upgrades for all regular Garia cars, but the specific design of the Garia Mansory Prism and its unique performance and adjustable settings is strictly limited to 7 pieces. The heart of the Prism – the Samsung Lithium Battery – is however available for all new and existing Garia cars – although without the special Garia Mansory Prism controller. Still it enables speeds at 60 km/h (37 mph*), improved acceleration as well as longer range and faster charging compared to traditional lead acid batteries. Garia Samsung Batteries comes with a 5-year capacity warranty and is ideal for community vehicles and golf cars where a large driving range is important as well as cars that are stored for months at a time.

To learn more about Garia visit


Introducing the new TORQ VLE - the most innovative combination of silence, safety and performance ever engineered into an off-road electric vehicle. Handcrafted in the U.S.A., the TORQ VLE provides a silent, driver-only experience that’s quicker, quieter, lighter and tighter than any other electric vehicle on the market.

The TORQ satisfies one’s need for speed with a swift, silent and stable machine that leaves all others in the dust, while keeping driver safety the No. 1 priority at all times. This electric vehicle is ideal for hunters, nature lovers and recreational drivers young and old.

The VLE in its name stands for Very Lite Electric. In fact, the light weight is a key design feature, which makes it easier to transport and maneuver than other electric vehicles of similar size. The TORQ actually boasts the industry’s lightest overall weight, meaning that it can out-handle, out-accelerate and out-brake all other off-road electric vehicles. In this case, less definitely means more.

The TORQ VLE was designed for the adventure-seeking outdoorsman or woman who wants more speed, maneuverability and overall performance in a vehicle that can also provide a stealthy and silent approach. With a 35+ mph top speed, high-amp output, loads of torque and super-low center of gravity, the TORQ VLE is the fastest and most responsive electric off-road vehicle to ever kick up dust. And even though it can top out at 35 mph, larger tires and all-wheel disc brakes and independent suspension smooths out the bumps, making it comfortable and easy to drive on even the most uneven terrain.

No gas engine means no messy oil changes or fuel to haul or handle. And, you don’t have to visit the shop for periodic maintenance. Just plug in the onboard charger, and when the light turns green, you’re ready to go. It’s that easy.

For more information about the TORQ VLE, visit


Purchasing a golf car, utility vehicle or low speed vehicle is just the beginning of the ownership experience. A lot depends on what comes after the sale.

Yet for some companies, including Club Car, that falls largely into the hands of dealers and distributors, who serve as the manufacturer’s face and voice. Club Car takes active steps to improve the performance of this network and strengthen the ownership experience.

That includes recognizing and rewarding Authorized Club Car Dealers and Distributors who meet the company’s most demanding standards through Club Car’s annual Black & Gold Dealer Rewards Program. Initiated in 2013, the program has awarded the prestigious “Black and Gold Partner” distinction to 100 of its Authorized Club Car Dealers and Distributors.

“Our dealers and distributors are the public face of our company, and they play a vital role in Club Car’s success,” says CEO and President Marc Dufour. “This program incentivizes our dealer network, strengthens our alliance and boosts customer satisfaction.”

Program participants had 12 months to set, meet and document rigorous standards in sales, service, parts, accessories and other areas that directly affect owners of Club Car vehicles.

Black & Gold Partners receive performance-based cash rewards, additional co-op advertising funds and commemorative plaques. They also earn the right to differentiate and advertise their businesses as a Club Car Black & Gold Dealer or Distributor. They represent the gold-standard service and support Club Car customers deserve and expect.

Club Car vehicles are sold through Authorized Club Car Dealers.

To find out more, visit

CS (MayJun15) - Suite Seats


gcn-mayjun15-fcThe golf cart industry has changed a lot since United Commercial Upholstery (UCU) first started offering Suite Seats in 2006. In initial regional market testing, custom “bucket” seats were unheard of, and the custom golf cart seat industry was almost nonexistent; “custom” seating consisted of taking the uncomfortable OEM seating and stapling on two tone seat covers.

The test marketing was strong and UCU started offering Suites Seats nationally in 2007, riding the phenomenon of “tricked out” golf carts, creating the custom golf cart seat market. The original “Suite Seat” is a custom bucket style seat with outside and middle bolsters that give the seat a supportive contoured feel as compared to a flat bench seat. Suite Seats were the first major brand available for most models of carts and the customizers were drawn to it because of its style, comfort, custom colors, and embroidery options.

The “Touring Edition” was developed in 2010 after a direct request from a high volume Suite Seats dealer. UCU/Suite Seats top of the line seat, the “Touring Edition” is a Suite Seat with extended headrests, and armrests that fold up and down. This dealer indicated that the client base liked the original Suite Seat, but was frequently asked for seats with fold up armrests to take the place of the plastic factory hip restraints, creating a golf cart seat with easier entry and exit.

In 2012 UCU/Suite Seats started offering OEM style replacement seats and two color bench seats. Dealers were looking for an alternative source for OEM replacement seats in manufacturer’s colors and style for golf courses and retirement communities, as well as a two color bench seat to accent golf carts at a less expensive price point. It may seem like an about-face to create a product line that’s economy themed, (after producing a premium custom seat) but after listening to their dealers, UCU/Suite Seats realized that they could bring a “new twist” to the market. The “Legacy” line is styled the same as OEM seating, but manufactured using the same quality foam, vinyl, and wood used in Suite Seats and Touring Edition seats.  The Legacy line (OEM style) has a much more comfortable feel than the utilitarian style seating that comes as original equipment. UCU/Suite Seats elected to also offer a variety of covers available for repairing OEM seats. This allowed Suite Seat dealers to be able to combine their seat (OEM and custom) needs and receive them from a single supplier.

In addition to three distinct styles of front facing golf cart seats, Suite Seats makes seat sets for “rear facing” seat kits.  The rear sets are available in the Suite Seats or the OEM style/Legacy Line.

The Suite Seats line of seating is offered as original equipment by four major manufacturers, the two largest aftermarket golf cart warehouses, and over 600 golf cart dealers.  For more information please visit

TS (MayJun15) - AC Systems

By: Matt Vallez

Over the last several years we have seen the increased use of AC systems in golf cars. The most telling development has been E-Z-GO installing an AC system as standard on their RXV golf car. In past articles I have highlighted an AC system for golf cars and discussed its advantages. Well, it is here to stay and there are some big improvements. Whether golf cars are your profitable business, your dependable local transport or your enthusiastic hobby, you want the best performance you can get. With AC induction motor technology, you can get more, much more. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy the newest generation golf cars that come straight from the manufacturer with today’s latest AC motor/controller systems installed. Instead, get one of the new AC Conversion Kits that let you upgrade your existing car, and get the most out of your vehicle investment.

What’s the AC Advantage?

Just a few years back, AC motor drive systems were the new frontier in EV technology, building on a progression of Series and SepEx® motors. Today, they’ve been proven – in every usage application and environment – to deliver more performance and programming than DC generations past and present. The advantages are considerable:

Efficiency: When correctly configured, AC systems do a better job of converting electrical to mechanical energy.

Speed: Not only can an AC system achieve higher speed, it also has better power characteristics at higher speeds.

Maintenance: AC’s brushless technology puts a lot less wear and tear on the motor, thus requiring less maintenance.

Simplicity: Construction of the AC motor is much simpler, another maintenance plus.

For many fans of AC EV technology, drive quality is the overriding factor. If you’ve ever driven an AC golf car, you can’t help but notice the exceptional difference. The system is more controllable, accelerates more smoothly, transitions forward to reverse more smoothly, and overall delivers more feeling of control with less drag.

The power issue is also significant: high efficiency translates to longer battery life so the golf car goes further on the charge. And with the improved torque of today’s AC systems, these cars become faster and more rugged. They can actually be modified for all-terrain use, to go up hill and through rocky terrain. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts take note … there is definitely an increase in torque.

One more point – an uncommon occurrence but still an important advantage: In the rare event of a failure, an AC system failure mode brings vehicle safely to a stop.

Package Deal: AC Conversion Kit Contents:

Nivel Parts LLC has a new AC System Conversion Kit on the market that has everything you need to successfully implement a conversion. The comprehensive kit includes these components:

• Curtis 1236, 450 amp AC motor controller

• Advanced Motors & Drives 3.2kw AC motor

• Full car logic wiring harness

• 2 gauge motor, controller, and battery cables

• Inline 450 amp fuse

• Inline fuse holder

• Curtis / Albright SW180 Contactor (solenoid)

• Curtis Dash Display

• Turf / Street switch

• Forward / Reverse switch

• Wiring diagram& instructions

• Hardware kit

Nivel created this kit after observing how long a well-kept golf car can stay in circulation. “It’s not hard to keep the body in good condition, especially since most golf cars are not out in severe weather,” says Roger Kramer, an Engineering Manager at Nivel. “The chassis often remains in great condition even as the motor and drive system become outdated. We started thinking what we could do for our customers who want improved performance but can’t see their way clear to replacing a good, solid vehicle. This way, they don’t have to replace the whole vehicle – they can get a new high-performance electric golf car for the cost of the kit.”

Conversion 101: The Process:

You don’t need a tutorial and you don’t need to be an engineer to successfully complete a conversion; if you’re at all mechanical and like to tinker with a golf car’s “inner life”, you can handle it yourself. “I designed this kit to include all the pieces and to be plug & play,” says Tim DeWitt. To learn more about AC conversions and the Nivel AC System Conversion Kit, contact your Nivel sales staff.

ATG (MayJun15) - Golf Cart vs ATV

QUESTION: Why Should I buy a golf car and not an ATV for off-roading?

ANSWER: I advise people to determine how aggressive do they want to be.

What do you expect, and what is your budget. If you intend to be hard core and load it up and get crazy consider a gas car or ATV. If you intend to be conservative and build your own, consider a golf car. I can only advise you of what I have experienced. I am 63 years old and still love that outdoor off-road experience. However, I am totally convinced of the golf car aspect of it as I have lived it. I have enclosed several pictures of myself and others enjoying the outdoors. The pictures you see are actual off-road with electric golf cars with an ATV leading the way.

Notice I did choose the ATV so I could see inexperienced people try the golf car adventure. For the most part for a lot less money and the fun of building it the golf cars went everywhere the ATV went.

However, I did draw the line when I buried the ATV in a pit LOL. As I drained water from the engine the others kept on rolling. And not to knock an ATV in anyway, notice a golf car is pulling that ATV out of that pit. Again, if you expect a golf car to be an ATV it is not. But the fun is still there! We ran those electric golf cars in mud, water, mountainous terrain for three hours continuous duty. The only casualty was me drowning my ride. Electric golf cars are great for hunters and recreational activity. I have proven over and over that electric cars do work in the wild and off-road. It only gets better as we evolve into AC motors and controllers of 600 amps with higher voltages. Just determine how aggressive you wish to be.


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