Short-commute vehicle

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A Short Commute Vehicle (SCV) is a powered vehicle designed and used specifically for regular trips (commute) that take less 20 minutes or are less than 10 miles (16 km).

The SCV category covers the class of vehicle that is faster than walking (5 km/h or 3.1 mph) and not regulated by other Motor Vehicle Legislation. It would include vehicles regulated under FMVSS500 (USA Low Speed Vehicle Regulation), CMVSS500 (Canadian Low Speed Vehicle Regulation) and certain L-category vehicles (Quadricycle L6 and L7) in the EU. Battery electric vehicles (BEV) are highly suited as Short Commute Vehicles due to their inherent short operating range, however SCVs do not have to be BEVs.

The term Short Commute Vehicle or SCV was coined by David Rush the Founder of the Paloverde Electric Vehicle Company to overcome the negative connotations surrounding terms such as Low-speed vehicle (LSV) or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) while attempting to raise capital for the Paloverde Electric Vehicle Company who had developed a high performance low cost LSV/NEV called the MOBi. LSV and NEV were the terms used in the USA and Canada for vehicles covered under the FMVSS500 and CMVSS500 North American Vehicles regulations. In 1999 during the development of the Think Neighbor Electric Vehicle David Rush said " We need a term for a total vehicle class that does not have the negativity of "Low Speed" or "Electric Vehicle" and will be broadly accepted and adopted to describe the utility that these vehicles serve - they are Short Commute Vehicles". Later in the book Reinventing the Automobile by Bill Mitchell (MIT) and Larry Burns (GM) they describe a Ultra Small Vehicle (USV) in the context of Urban Vehicles which would fall under the category of SCVs.

See also[edit]


  1. U.S. DOT NHTSA Requirements for FMVSS Low Speed Vehicle
  2. European Commission Report on L-Category Framework