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Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs)

The neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV), is a vehicle that is smaller than light vehicles, but larger than that of a golf cart. Typically, the NEVs are designed to be used by two to four passengers or with two people and a utility box or bed. The NEVs are basically a vehicle that has one specific purpose, which puts them in the same category as a fire truck or ambulance.

The NEV is a 4-wheel vehicle that can get up to speeds of 20-25 miles per hour. They’re pretty light weight under 2,500 pounds and they fall under the category of a low speed vehicle. Currently NEVs are defined by the NHTSA and is subject to motor vehicle standards. Even though they’re technically a low speed vehicle, the more traditional name that has followed them is the NEV.

Rules under the FMVSS 500 requires that the vehicle contain headlamps, stop lights, turn signals, tail lights, windshields, seat belts, mirrors, parking breaks, reflectors and an identification number. Now, you can’t take this vehicle out on the freeway because it isn’t safe. Around 35 states have passed rules and regulations on the NEV, which allow it to be licensed and driven on roads that have speeds less than 35 mph or less.

The NEV was initially used by people around gated communities and even places that seniors tend to frequent. As the popularity of this vehicle has grown, more and more of them have been popping up for people that are just driving around times to take their children to school, shopping and just for a drive. The whole reason that people started doing this is due to the fact the price of fuel was going up and cars are still quite expensive.

You’ll also notice that NEVs are being used by governments and private parties in increasing numbers. Military bases, parks, airports and other municipal governments have been using this as an easy way to get around. Since the NEV needs far less gasoline, the need to have a huge budget for fuel has been eliminated. The NEV also helps groups comply with the EO 13149, which is the Greening the Government Through Federal Fleet and Transportation Efficiency. That’s just a regulation that requires a decrease in the amount of fuel that is being used.

Due to the increased use of the NEV, government organizations are giving out NEV credits. This basically helps large companies that are manufacturing cars to be able to put investments into building NEV and help try to reduce the amount of fuel and air emissions. For example, the California Air Resource Board is putting out credits to help companies in the United States do this.

A big part of setting the high standards for the NEV was through the Baseline Performance test based on EVAmerica procedures. This is basically been worked in by manufactures to meet specific performance capabilities that are outside the regulations set down by the FMVSS 500. An example of this would be the NEV coasting down a hill. It can go much faster than the top speed this way and it was tested at these extremes to make sure it was up to standards.

 

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