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What is a Low Speed Electric Vehicle (LSEV)?

September 1, 2020

The federal government has three criteria that must be met for something to be considered a low-speed vehicle (LSV). First, it must have four wheels. Second, its maximum speed must be between 20 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour. And finally, its GVWR (total weight including cargo, passengers, and the vehicle itself) must not exceed 2,500 pounds.

Typically, low-speed vehicles are used for hunting, meter maids, grounds keeping, yard work, and campus security. Most low-speed vehicles are extremely low weight and can carry up to 6 passengers plus cargo and still be under the weight limit. This affords them excellent mileage.

They are becoming increasingly popular among environmentally conscious drivers who want to have a smaller carbon footprint. Families that had both an LSV and a regular car showed to have a 23% reduction in transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions.

As most LSVs are electric, many can go up to 30 miles on a full charge. This can satisfy the commuting needs of most drivers. Granted that the LSV would need to be driving at a constant speed of 20 miles per hour.


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Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

A popular type of low-speed EV is the NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle). These are powered by rechargeable batteries and are mainly used by seniors to get around their communities.

Let’s take a look at one example in particular. The Villages is a master-planned age-restricted community in Florida. Here the NEVs and LSVs actually outnumber the amount of regular-sized cars. In fact, they have 87 miles of road specifically designed for low-speed vehicles.

This shows that LSV not only have industrial but also real-world commuter uses as well.



USA definition of low-speed vehicle

The United States has confirmed that motor vehicles with a maximum speed higher than 32km/h but lower than 40km/h are a new category of motor vehicles, called low-speed vehicles. And the maximum speed ranges from 20mph to 25mph. This category of cars includes the speed-increasing golf carts mentioned above, as well as neighborhood electric vehicles.



EU low-speed electric vehicle definition

According to EU regulations, the empty weight of low-speed electric vehicles belonging to L6E does not exceed 350 kg (excluding the weight of power batteries), the maximum design speed does not exceed 45 km/h, and the maximum continuous rated power of the motor does not exceed 4 kW; low speed belonging to L7E The empty weight of the electric vehicle does not exceed 400 kg (excluding the weight of the power battery), and the maximum continuous rated power of the motor does not exceed 15 kilowatts.


Japan low-speed electric vehicle definition

Japan stipulates that the maximum speed of low-speed electric four-wheelers should not exceed 50 kilometers per hour; and the length of the body should not exceed 3400 mm, and the width of the body should not exceed 1300 mm.


The European Union, Japan, etc. separately manage low-speed electric four-wheeled vehicles: this type of vehicle has a license plate that is different from that of a traditional vehicle, and the owner can enjoy preferential policies such as vehicle purchase subsidies, exemption from annual inspections, and road crossing fees. In Europe, some countries have specifically demarcated roads for low-speed vehicles.


China Low-speed electric vehicle definition

Body length is not more than 3500mm, width is not more than 1500mm, height is not more than 1700mm;

The maximum speed of the vehicle within the driving range of 1km shall be greater than or equal to 40km/h and less than or equal to 70km/h;

The vehicle's ready mass shall not exceed 750kg, and the power battery shall not exceed 30% of the vehicle's weight;

Speed warning: when the speed of the vehicle is lower than 20km/h, it should be able to give appropriate warning sound to the personnel outside the vehicle;

Measurement of the maximum climbing slope, not less than 20%;

The acceleration time of 0-30km/h should not be more than 10 seconds;


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