Industry News - May/June 2009

By Editor,

TROJAN BATTERY INTRODUCES HydroLink™ WATERING SYSTEM

Pre-installed on Trojan Batteries for fast, easy and safe battery watering.

SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA. – Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries, introduced today its new patented HydroLink™ Watering System for all 6 volt, 8 volt and 12 volt golf car batteries. 

 

Trojan’s HydroLink™ system delivers accurate battery watering to help maximize battery life, provides significant time savings with a complete set of batteries filled in less than 30 seconds, protects the value of golf cars by reducing damage from corrosion and improves overall battery watering safety.

 

Developed in partnership with Flow-Rite Controls™, the leading designer and manufacturer of watering systems, Trojan’s HydroLink™ also provides customers important advantages not offered to the golf car industry today:

•  Pre-installed on your Trojan Batteries – HydroLink™ is available pre-installed on Trojan golf car batteries, removing the guess work on proper installation for customers.  With one simple snap of a single valve from the watering tube into each HydroLink™, the system is ready for use.

  Independent Water Level Indicator – Trojan’s HydroLink™ comes with an independent, non-mechanical water level indicator that is simple to read.  A white indicator means that the battery needs water and a black indicator means that the battery has enough water.  The HydroLink™ indicator will not give a false reading unlike competitive products that utilize mechanical readers.  Mechanical readers experience trapped floats which cause false water readings.

  Snake Tubing – The new durable and flexible snake tubing design easily snaps into the HydroLink™ system reducing installation time.  The snake tubing’s molded connections also decrease the number of connection ports and the possibility of them becoming disconnected.

  Safety – HydroLink™ comes with both internal and external flame arrestors making it the safest watering system available today.  It also eliminates acid and gas exposure while filling the batteries.

  Lowest profile design in the industry – HydroLink™ will easily fit into any existing or new golf car vehicle and its low profile reduces the opportunity for damage to the watering system itself.  It also eliminates interference with other components, such as charger systems.

 

“With the introduction of HydroLink™, Trojan Battery is addressing a major customer need which is the ability to easily maintain Trojan deep-cycle batteries,” states Rick Godber, President and Chief Executive Officer for Trojan Battery.  “Trojan selected Flow-Rite as our partner because they manufacture the highest quality watering system in the industry, which aligns with Trojan’s premium batteries.  All three major golf car manufacturers install only Trojan batteries into their electric vehicles and we believe their customers will benefit from maximum battery life and major time savings with the Trojan HydroLink™ Watering System.”   

 

Trojan’s HydroLink™ will be made available to all golf original equipment manufacturers, including Club Car, E-Z-Go and Yamaha, as well as to Trojan’s worldwide Master Distributor network.

 

“Flow-Rite is excited to be partnering with Trojan Battery.  Leveraging Trojan’s patented MasterVent™ technology with Flow-Rite’s expertise and watering system patents, we have been able to deliver an innovative solution to the golf car market,” states Dan Campau, President of Flow-Rite Controls.   “Watering systems have become highly popular in deep-cycle battery markets due to the fact that it takes less than 30 seconds to fill a set of batteries.   Based on current market acceptance, Flow-Rite predicts that over 80% of the golf market will utilize watering systems in the future.”

 

HydroLink™ will also be offered into Trojan’s other core markets utilizing golf size batteries, including Floor Machine, Material Handling and Renewable Energy applications. For an online demonstration of Trojan’s HydroLink™ Watering System, visit us at www.trojanbattery.com/HydroLink.

 

CADDYSHACK LAUNCHES CARROLL SHELBY GT-500 EDITION

AUGUSTA, GA. - Tomberlin Automotive Group and Caddyshack™, the exclusive license for auto legend Carroll Shelby, have joined forces for the first national roll out of a road-ready electrical Low Speed Vehicle with a signature Carroll Shelby® branded vehicle package.

 

The car will be on the Tomberlin E-Merge platform similar to a golf cart and feature industry leading performance with AC drive delivering 81 foot pounds of torque and up to 25 mph. Acceleration will be a stunning zero to 25 in under 4 seconds.  

 

The GT-500® will offer numerous Shelby® inspired features from the paint with the traditional Shelby® strips, carved Ultra Suede headliner and high back seats with embroidered Shelby® logo and Shelby Cobra® badging include 12-inch deep-dish wheels.

 

The Shelby® Edition will lead the Tomberlin Signature Series and continue to feature industry leading safety features such as four wheel brakes plus full regenerative motor braking, structural tip over protection, DOT glass windshields and LED lights.

 

 “It is great to be associated with a brand name with such a remarkable history of performance and quality like Carroll Shelby,” said Mike Tomberlin, chief executive officer of Tomberlin Automotive Group. Tomberlin began accepting orders for the first 100 GT-500 Shelby® models January 19th.

 

Tomberlin is a full line manufacturer of electrical vehicles and is based in Augusta, Georgia.  More information can be found at www.tomberlin.net. Carroll Shelby and Shelby GT-500 are registered trademarks and or intellectual property of Carroll Shelby and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. and are used under license by Caddyshack™, Rancho Mirage, Calif. Please contact Tim Martin at (888) 900-7434

 

COLUMBIA RECEIVES APPROVAL TO LEASE LOW SPEED VEHICLES TO U.S. GOVERNMENT

First NEV Manufacturer to receive contractual approval to provide direct leasing

REEDSBUR, WI. – Columbia ParCar Corp. Announced today that they are the first manufacturer to receive contractual approval to lease Low Speed Vehicles directly to U.S. Government agencies utilizing the Multiple Award Schedules Program of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

 

Previously, Low Speed Vehicles (LSV’s) were only available for purchase from manufacturers as a part of the GSA program. Now, LSV’s (often referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicle or NEV’s) can be leased directly from Columbia. “This is a critical step forward for agencies that until now, were only able to purchase these types of vehicles outright,” according to Scott Breckley, Columbia’s Vice President. “Now, instead of drawing from limited acquisition budgets, agencies can shift operational funds previously spent on leasing fossil-fuel powered vehicles to leasing green, efficient, all-electric powered transportation,” Breckley added.

 

According to Kellen Chicoine, Columbia’s Director of Engineering; “Electric vehicles are inherently more efficient than gas powered vehicles. They consume less energy, require less maintenance and produce zero tailpipe-emissions. This means that an electric vehicle will yield a lower, total cost of operation that its fossil-fueled counterpart, especially important given the economic challenges all organizations now face.”

 

The environmentally friendly vehicles manufactured by Columbia are considered plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, which are built to comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s classification for Low Speed Vehicles. “These vehicles are perfect for military installations, national parks, federal prisons and other locations where a vehicle has a range of 50 miles or less between charges,” according to Todd Sauey, Columbia’s President. “Not only does the use of our electric vehicles help reduce greenhouse gases, but there is a significant savings in fuel cost as well,” Sauey continued.

 

The U.S. Army recently reported an annual energy cost savings of $740 for each electric, Low Speed Vehicle that replaces a gasoline-powered car in their fleet. “The benefits that will result from the U.S. Army’s plan to lease 4,000 LSV’s over the next three years alone, are phenomenal. There will be a considerable savings of tax-payers money and our environment will improve dramatically,” explained Sauey.

 

Columbia has drawn from more than 60 years of electric vehicle manufacturing experience to develop and sell new, plug-in electric drive motor vehicles. “We have always been looked to as a leader in our field. And now that agencies can select the more cost-effective  method of leasing Low Speed Vehicles, we are proud to be at the forefront of providing the U.S. Government with clean, affordable and efficient electric transportation to replace fossil-fueled vehicles,” reported Breckely. For additional information, visit www.parcar.com

 

E-Z-GO RXV PROVES TO BE INDUSTRY-PLEASER

AUGUSTA, GA.- Just over one year since its launch in November 2007, the E-Z-GO RXV is enjoying tremendous success in the marketplace, with customers around the world enjoying the unparalleled reliability, enhanced golf experience and extraordinary bottom-line value that the vehicle provides.

 

Many of those customers say they have already recognized noticeable benefits from the RXV, from appreciative comments from happy golfers, to simplified maintenance, to bottom-line savings due to the vehicle’s unprecedented energy efficiency:

 

“Not only did the RXV meet our member’s expectations, but it exceeded them,” said John Kuzina, Head Golf Professional at the Mountain Course of The Club at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado.

 

“The new RXV has certainly changed how people look at a golf car,” said John Zimmers, superintendent at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. “They really thought this out. It’s an amenity and a game-changer in how people are going to look at a golf car fleet.” “We’re proud and honored by the success of the RXV in its first year on the market,” said Michael R. Parkhurst, vice president of global sales for E-Z-GO. “We knew the RXV would be a great success due to the unparalleled user experience, reliability and value that it offers, but it’s even more gratifying to hear customers speak of the benefits and advantages that they have enjoyed in their experience with the vehicle. “We expect to hear more and more comments such as these as word about the RXV spreads and more facilities choose to invest in this remarkable new golf car.”

 

The numerous RXV innovations, features and benefits include: AC drive (electric), dual-braking system (electric), energy transfer bumpers (electric & gas), Kawasaki high-performance 13-hp engine (gas), warranty, improved golfer experience, fresh exterior styling and environmentally friendly operation. For more information about the RXV and the entire line of E-Z-GO vehicles, please visit www.ezgo.com.

 

PGA PROS, SUPERINTENDENTS IMPRESSED WITH FLEET MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES OF CLUB CAR’S GPS-BASED GUARDIAN SYSTEM

AUGUSTA, GA. – Club Car’s new golf car fleet management system is helping the University of Texas Golf Club tell it’s members “no” without ever having to say the word.

           

Like most courses, the Austin club has some places, including native rough areas with minimal irrigation, where it would rather its players and golf cars not go. The course’s cart paths also have a few sharp turns and steep downhill areas where the club wants to make sure players proceed slowly and with caution. Now, with the help of Club Car’s Guardian SVC system, which operates based on GPS technology, the University of Texas club programs its golf cars to keep players away from environmentally sensitive areas and slow to safe speeds at certain points on the course.

 

“The system eliminates things people don’t like on a golf course, like marshals telling them what they can’t do and ropes and stakes that take away from the beauty of the course,” says Greg Garner, head golf professional at the private course in Austin. “It’s a much cleaner approach to educating your member.”

           

Using the golf car industry’s first Local Interconnect Network, which allows the vehicle’s controller and on-board computer to communicate in real time, Guardian makes it easy for course managers to define restricted areas and limit vehicle access and maximize speed anywhere on the course. “I don’t think it could be any simpler,” Garner said.

           

The private University of Texas Golf Club is the first course to install the Guardian system, which is designed to help golf facilities protect their course and their players while lowering operating costs. The system, which can be accessed from any computer with a Internet connection, is capable of limiting vehicle access, controlling vehicle speed, reviewing the history of where the golf car has been driven and monitoring and diagnosing vehicle performance.

           

David Yanez, golf course superintendent at The Grand GC in San Diego, California, who saw the product demonstrated during the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans, earlier in the year, was impressed with the system’s round-replay and safety features. “Our mechanics spend a lot of time fixing carts that are damaged on the golf course. The golfer may say, “It was like that when I got it,” but this system gives us recourse to show when and where the damage occurred so we can charge the person responsible,” Yanez said. “We have a lot of fairly step grades and switchbacks. So having the ability to control speed is a great feature from a safety standpoint,” Yanez added. “The first time you avoid a lawsuit because you’ve prevented an accident, you have more than paid for this system.”

 

Guardian also monitors the golf car’s electrical system to prevent a vehicle from going onto the course with an insufficient charge to complete the round. Diagnostic capabilities help course technicians identify and address potential vehicle faults.

 

“The system provides an unbelievable amount of information,” Davis says. “And it’s not just fluff – it’s valuable information that would help us manage our fleet more effectively.”

 

Club Car worked with GPS Industries (GPSI), a Sarasota, Florida –based global media and technology firm, to develop the Guardian software. GPSI will provide assessments installations and training to Club Car customers.

 

The Guardian system is offered on Club Car’s 2009 Precedent models equipped with the company’s Excel drive system. It also can be installed in the field on existing 2008 Precedent i2 and i2L Excel models. For more information please visit www.clubcar.com.

 

HYDROTURF INTRODUCES SOLAR POWERED GOLF CART

After a year of testing, solar-powered golf carts are almost ready for the UAE market.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Saving up to 70% energy than regular golf carts and reducing CO2 emissions by 100%.

           

As the region continues to address environmental concerns with the second World Future Energy Summit recently concluding in Abu Dhabi, Dubai-based Hydroturf, the Middle Eastern distributor for SolarDrive launched the first solar powered golf carts into the market. Ideal for use on golf courses, hotels, resorts, parks and municipalities, the solar powered carts have a state of the art SolarDrive roof made up of crystalline solar cells which charge while they are driving, extending the battery lifetime through continuous charging. Tests were carried out on golf courses in the Emirates where the solar carts were used together with Club Car battery power carts, allowing their performance to be directly compared. In all tests the solar power cart out-performed the battery powered vehicle.

           

As the cart charges while driving, it proved to be not just more cost effective. With such a favorable outcome, Hydroturf are looking to convert existing fleets and offer solar solutions t all new Club Cars in the UAE in 2009.

           

“We are incredibly excited about this product and think that it will greatly contribute to helping reduce the carbon footprint of the region. There are thousands of Club Cars in operation in the UAE alone. If we can replace even half of these with the solar powered vehicles we will be reducing carbon emissions on the gasoline products as well as saving up to 70% of energy that the cart would use re-charging,” said Brian Goudie, General Manager, Hydroturf, Club Car & Trojan speaking on how the carts could benefit the region.

 

PERFECT GIFT FOR FAVRE FANS

DUBUQUE, IA. – Scott Harris just might have the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for Brett Favre fan.

           

Harris, who operates Harris Golf Cars in Peosta, Iowa, will auction off the $9,000 custom built golf cart the former Green Bay Packers and New York Jets quarterback used on his 450-acre property in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for the last year. Harris, his son Calvin and friend Bob Leytem delivered a new cart to Favre early March.

           

The cart will be displayed in Harris’ showroom through the end of the month. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Brett Favre Foundation.

           

“He kept it in very good shape, but that doesn’t surprise me at all,” Harris said. “Everything in his machine shed is in pretty much immaculate condition. You could eat off the floor in there. The whole property is manicured almost like a golf course.”

           

Harris’ cousin John Schneider serves as the Packers’ personnel analyst to the general manager and set up a meeting between Favre and Harris toward the end of the 2007 NFL season. Favre wanted a custom-built, camouflage golf cart to ride around his property and plans to order a new one every year.

           

The local groups spent nearly three hours visiting with Favre and renewing the year-old friendship. Favre even threw a few passes to Calvin Harris, providing the thrill of a lifetime for the young fan.

           

A year ago, when Harris delivered the cart, he wasn’t quite sure if Favre was completely retired from football. But now, the lingering effects of a torn bicep will more than likely keep the future Hall of Famer on the sidelines for good. “He seems really content right now,” Harris said.

           

Scott Harris (right), his son Calvin and Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre pose for a photo. Scott Harris will auction off Favre’s custom-built $9,000 golf cart for the Brett Favre Foundation at an open house March 27-29.

 

TOMBERLIN HELPS WELCOME UNIQUE AUTOSPORTS TO THEIR SOUTHERN LOCATION IN MIAMI, FLORIDA

MIAMI, FL. – Ron Smith of Tomberlin USA, The Villages and Southern Golf Cars in Miami, Florida along with Bev Martin of the Tomberlin Group, helped to celebrate the relocation and Grand Opening of Unique Autosports, formerly in Holbrook, NY, to sunny Miami, Florida.

 

The event was a huge success drawing a star studded crowd including hip hop artists Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes and DJ Ire, the official DJ for the Miami Heat.  Sports stars Shawne Merriman and Jermaine O’Neal also turned out to show their support.  “It was nice to see the amount of respect that Will received from many of his clients.  You can tell there is a camaraderie that transcends the business relationship forging lifetime friendships,” said Ron Smith of Tomberlin USA.

           

Ron and Maria Smith, sponsors of the Unique South Launch Party, supplied the famous Margaritaville  Tomberlin E-Merge which can be seen at their Tomberlin USA, The Villages location.  Ron and Maria are currently ranked one of the top 5 Tomberlin Dealers in the nation and show no signs of slowing down.

           

Tomberlin Automotive Group and The Unique Autosports friendship began two years ago when Will Castro and Tomberlin teamed up to deliver hip hop sensation 50 Cent a “Uniquely” customized Tomberlin E-Merge, which was televised on MTV’s Cribs and an episode of Unique Whips Special Edition.

 

Tomberlin is a full line supplier of Low Speed Electric Vehicles, Scooters, ATV’s, Go-Karts and more.  For more information visit www.tomberlin.net  To contact Ron and Maria Smith at Tomberlin USA, The Villages visit their website at www.southerngolfcars.com.

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