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What is an LSV?

In 1998 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established a limited set of safety standards for low-speed vehicles (LSVs) intended for vehicles used “to make short trips for shopping, social, and recreational purposes primarily within retirement or other planned communities with golf courses.”

A neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that qualifies as LSV.

To qualify as an LSV, a vehicle must have:

  1. Four (4) wheels
  2. Top speed of more than 20 MPH but less than 25 MPH
  3. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 1,361 kilograms (3,000 lbs.)

LSVs are exempt from most federal safety standards that apply to motor vehicles, and they are not required to meet any criteria for vehicle crashworthiness.

A Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) as defined in FMVSS #500 is a vehicle that must be equipped with all of the following:

  • headlamps
  • front and rear turn signal lamps
  • taillamps
  • stop lamps
  • reflex reflectors – side
  • reflector(s) – rear
  • mirrors
  • parking brake
  • windshield that conforms to FMVSS #205 (Glazing Materials)
  • seat belts for all designated seating positions (DSP), that conform to FMVSS #209 (Seat Belt Assemblies)
  • vehicle identification number (VIN) that conforms to the requirements of 49 CFR part 565 (Vehicle Identification Number Requirements)

A Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) as defined in FMVSS #500 is also required starting with 2018 Model Year to have following additional equipment:

  • Rear Vision System that confirms to FMVSS #111 (Rear View)

All America EV golf cars that are optionally equipped as NEV have all the above required features as a Standard Equipment, so your Golf Car will be “Road Ready“.

States, not NHTSA, are responsible for regulating the operation of motor vehicles on public roads and for handling of LSV titling and registration.

Most states allow LSVs to attain speeds no greater than 25 mph on roadways with speed limits of no more than 35 mph.

Four states (Connecticut, Mississippi, Montana, and Pennsylvania) do not have statutes allowing the use of LSVs on their public roads.

Many states allow their departments of transportation or local jurisdictions to restrict the use of LSVs on their roads.


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