Low-speed vehicle

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An orange triangle required on the rear of low-speed vehicles in several countries.
A Tiger Star LSV van with a maximum speed of 30 mph (48 km/h)

A low-speed vehicle (LSV) is a legal class of 4-wheel vehicles that have a maximum capable speed typically around 25 mph (40 km/h), and have a minimum capable speed (typically 20 mph (32 km/h)) that allows them to travel on public roads not accessible to all golf carts or neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV). The vehicles operate under very similar restrictions to but without the specification of battery electric power.[citation needed] See the NEV article for general vehicle requirements.

Canadian regulations[edit]

Under Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, low-speed vehicle is defined as a vehicle, other than an all-terrain vehicle, a truck or a vehicle imported temporarily for special purposes, that is powered by an electric motor, produces no emissions, is designed to travel on 4 wheels and has an attainable speed in 1.6 km of more than 32 km/h (20 mph) but not more than 40 km/h (25 mph) on a paved level surface.

Philippines "e-jeepneys"[edit]

E-jeepneys or minibuses, supported by Greenpeace started plying Manila / Makati City streets on July 1, 2008. 4 e-jeeps were launched by Jejomar Binay on 2007, with 2 prototypes from Guangzhou Langqing Electric Car Co., Ltd., China at P 371,280 each. "The first public transport system of its kind in South-East Asia," the vehicles can be charged by plugging into an electric socket, using power from biodegradable waste.[1] E-jeepneys would also soon begin commercial operations in Puerto Princesa, Bacolod and Baguio. The 2 new e-jeeps were made by the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP), while the first 4 units were made in China. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board classified and registered them as LSV (low-speed vehicles) or 4-wheeled motor vehicles that use alternative fuel such as electricity and running a maximum 40 km per hour. The E-jeepney carries 17 passengers and can run 120 km on an 8-hour charge from an electric outlet.[2][3]

United States[edit]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published safety guidelines in the United States which apply to vehicles operating in the 20–25 mile-per-hour speed range.[4] 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).[5]

Nearly all 50 states allow LSVs, also called NEVs, to drive on their roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.[6][7] Either they follow FMVSS500 (25 mph top speed on 35 mph limit roads), or make their own more aggressive law. 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 additional safety requirements.[6]

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. In 2011, a Time magazine article concluded that the lack of passenger safety protection made most LSVs unfit for city driving, despite their excellent maneuverability.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, E-jeepneys debut on Manila streets[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ earthtimes.org, Electric minibuses start commercial operations in Philippines
  3. ^ manilastandardtoday.com, Enforcers to drive E-jeeps
  4. ^ http://legis.delaware.gov/lis/lis144.nsf/vwlegislation/SB+17
  5. ^ 49 CFR § 571.3 - US Code of Federal Regulations Archived 2009-05-05 at the Wayback Machine.; "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  6. ^ a b "Map: roads on which low-speed vehicles are permitted". www.iihs.org. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  7. ^ a b Saporito, Bill. "Slow Riders. Souped-up golf carts hit the streets", Time magazine, August 22, 2011, p. 52