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Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

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Title: Neighborhood Electric Vehicle  
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Subject: Electric car, Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States, Battery electric vehicle, Plug-in electric vehicle, Electric car use by country
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Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

For other uses, see NEV
U.S. Army NEVs

A Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) is a U.S. denomination for battery electric vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits as high as 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) depending on the particular laws of the state, usually are built to have a top speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h), and have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lb (1,400 kg).[1] NEVs fall under the United States Department of Transportation classification for low-speed vehicles.[2] The non-electric version of the neighbourhood electric vehicle is the Motorised quadricycle.

A NEV battery pack recharges by plugging into a standard outlet and because it is an all-electric vehicle it does not produce tailpipe emissions. If recharged from clean energy sources such as solar or wind power, NEVs do not produce greenhouse gas emissions. In the state of California NEVs are classified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) and are eligible for a purchase rebate of up to $1,500 if purchased or leased on or after March 15, 2010.[3][4]

Pike Research estimated there were 478,771 NEVs on the world roads in 2011.[5][6] As of July 2006, there were between 60,000 and 76,000 low-speed battery-powered vehicles in use in the United States, up from about 56,000 in 2004.[7] The world's two largest NEV markets in 2011 were the United States, with 14,737 units sold, and France, with 2,231 units.[5] As of June 2014, the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle is the market leader in North America, with global sales of more than 50,000 units since 1998.[8] Another top selling NEV is the Renault Twizy, launched in March 2012, it was the top-selling plug-in electric vehicle in Europe during 2012.[9] A total of 200,000 low-speed small electric cars were sold in China in 2013, most of which are powered by lead-acid batteries.[10]


  • U.S. regulations 1
    • State regulations 1.1
  • Community design 2
  • Sales 3
  • Examples 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

U.S. regulations

An Italcar EV

Low-speed vehicle is a federally approved street-legal vehicle classification which came into existence in 1998 under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (FMVSS 500). There is nothing in the federal regulations specifically pertaining to the powertrain.

Low-speed vehicles are defined as a four-wheeled motor vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) and a top speed of between 20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h).[11] Those states that authorize NEVs generally restrict their operation to streets with a maximum speed limit of 35 or 45 mph (56 or 72 km/h). Because of federal law, car dealers cannot legally sell the vehicles to go faster than 25 mph (40 km/h), but the buyer can easily modify the car to go 35 mph (56 km/h). However, if modified to exceed 25 mph (40 km/h), the vehicle then becomes subject to safety requirements of passenger cars.

These speed restrictions, combined with a typical driving range of 30 miles (48 km) per charge and a typical three-year battery durability, are required because of a lack of federally mandated safety equipment and features which NEVs can not accommodate because of their design. To satisfy federal safety requirements for manufacturers, NEVs must be equipped with three-point seat belts or a lap belt, running lights, headlights, brake lights, reflectors, rear view mirrors, and turn signals. Windshield wipers are not required. In many cases, doors may be optional, crash protection from other vehicles is partially met compared to other non motorized transport such as bicycles because of the use of seat belts.

State regulations

Regulations for operating an NEV vary by state. The federal government allows state and local governments to add additional safety requirements beyond those of Title 49 Part 571.500. For instance,the State of New York requires additional safety equipment to include windshield wipers, window defroster, speedometer, odometer and a back-up light. Generally, they must be titled and registered, and the driver must be licensed. Because airbags are not required the NEV cannot normally travel on highways or freeways. NEVs in many states are restricted to roads with a speed limit of 35 mph (56 km/h) or less. As of February 2012, NEVs are street-legal in 46 states.[12]

Community design

A GEM e2 used by the Tourist Police in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, being recharged
A GEM xLXD NEV used by a street food vendor at the National Mall, Washington, D.C.
The Renault Twizy was launched in Europe in 2012 and it is classified as a heavy quadricycle.
The Indian REVA 2 door is commercialized as a NEV in the U.S. and as a quadricycle in Europe.

Some communities are designed to separate neighborhoods from commercial and other areas, connecting them with relatively high speed thoroughfares on which NEVs cannot go, legally or safely. As a result, these vehicles are most common in communities that provide separate routes for them or generally accommodate slow speed traffic.

2007 ZENN 2.22 NEV

Some communities designed specifically with NEVs in mind include:

Other communities that permit NEVs:


In January 2009 the U.S. Army has announced that it will lease 4,000 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) within three years. The Army plans to use NEVs at its bases for transport of personnel and for security patrols and maintenance and delivery services.[15]

Pike Research estimated there were 478,771 NEVs on the world roads in 2011.[5][6] The two largest NEV markets in 2011 were the United States, with 14,737 units sold, and France, with 2,231 units.[5]

As of mid 2014, the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle had cumulative global sales of more than 50,000 units since 1998.[8] Another top selling NEV is the Renault Twizy, launched in March 2012, a total of 9,020 units were sold through December 2012, with Germany, France and Italy as the top selling markets.[16] The Twizy was the top-selling plug-in electric vehicle in Europe during 2012.[9]

A total of 200,000 low-speed small electric cars were sold in China in 2013, most of which are powered by lead-acid batteries. These electric vehicles not considered by the government as new energy vehicles due to safety and environmental concerns, and consequently, do not enjoy the same benefits as highway legal plug-in electric cars.[10]


See also


  1. ^ "What is a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)?".  
  2. ^ "US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  3. ^ "CVRP Eligible Vehicles". Center for Sustainable Energy California. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  4. ^ "Clean Vehicle Rebate Project". Center for Sustainable Energy. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  5. ^ a b c d Dave Hurst and Clint Wheelock (2011). "Executive Summary: Neighborhood Electric Vehicles - Low Speed Electric Vehicles for Consumer and Fleet Markets" (PDF). Pike Research. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  6. ^ a b Danny King (2011-06-20). "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Sales To Climb".  
  7. ^ Saranow, Jennifer (27 July 2006), "The Electric Car Gets Some Muscle",  
  8. ^ a b Polaris Industries (2014-07-24). "Polaris GEM Introduces 2015 Models".  
  9. ^ a b Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM) (2012-06-27). "L'étonnant succès du Renault Twizy en Allemagne" [The surprising success of the Renault Twizy in Germany] (in French). Moteur Nature. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  10. ^ a b Jiang Xueqing (2014-01-11). "'"New-energy vehicles 'turning the corner. China Daily. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  11. ^ 49 CFR § 571.3 - US Code of Federal Regulations; [2]
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania may make neighborhood-electric vehicles street legalauthor=Danny King".  
  13. ^ Zúñiga, Janine (2007-05-29). "Coronado's electric cars enjoying life in the fast lane". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  14. ^ Young, Kathryn (2007-08-23). "Town that banned bags touts golf carts". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  15. ^ "Army announces historic electric vehicle lease". 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  16. ^ "Ventes Mensuelles" [Monthly Sales] (in French). Renault. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-18.  Click on Ventes mensuelles (XLS), December 2012 , 294 Ko to download, and open the TWIZY sheet.
  17. ^ "2011 Polaris RANGER EV Electric UTV : Overview". Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  18. ^ "Xtreme Green 100% Electric Vehicles". Xtreme Green. 

External links

  • The ZENN (Zero Emissions No Noise) of Driving
  • S.A.V.E. pushes legislation for 35 mph in Montana
  • Yahoo! NEVs group
  • Summary of Montana's Medium-Speed Electric Vehicle (MSEV) legislation
  • Washington's MSEV legislation
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