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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Is it really free for driving it? ‘LSV’ EVs Soak Up The Sun’s Power

Wapcar Automotive News – I remember not too long ago when an American politician stood on the floor of the capital and was really angry at the idea that Americans should never be forced in the slightest in choosing type or size. means, and that there was no way he could be. would ever drive something like… a fortwo from Smart Malaysia 2023, which was available in the EU but not in the US at the time. He removed the cover from the image of the miniature machine. He continued to rant against the encroachment of these anti-suburban people as if they were miniature car demons from some communist hell, but I couldn’t hear him anymore. I was struck by the image of this humorous yet technically sophisticated small car that could only carry these two people… And that’s about it. It’s not as cool as the Miata or as classic as the XKE. It’s clearly a small and effective form of basic transportation. 

And that brings up a nagging question that pops up in my mind from time to time:

Exactly how many cars does a person really need? Do not want, but in fact, need? Clearly, the man holding political power needs a rolling little stadium with serious control power. To each of their own. I? I grew up on everything from square VWs to Pintos to Cadillac Eldorados. Nowadays, even though I own a small electric car, I mostly ride motorbikes, scooters and e-bikes whenever I can instead of driving, not really because I try to live green, but because I have a weakness of minimizing the means of transport and those are the vehicles that bring me joy when I drive. I’ve always looked at our modern, high-tech society through the lens of this one question, and I just spoke to Mark Dweck, a seasoned New York-based import entrepreneur who thinks he has at least one possible answer.

If your immediate assumption was that these were glorified golf carts, you’d be wrong. While there are more and more communities today – many of which were built with golf cart transportation in mind in the first place – golf carts are not LSVs, at least in the eyes of the DOT and the government at large. . First, golf carts are a bit slower than LSVs and they are golf carts, with all their shortcomings, including very limited street legality. Dweck says its Wink LSV models meet all DOT and NHTSA regulations, have a VIN and can be insured like regular cars. They happen to be small, electric and not very fast, but he says they are faster, safer and much more useful than golf carts. Plus, you can drive them on any public road with a speed limit of up to 35 mph, rather than just around your intended community or resort.

fitness or picking up kids, Dweck says there’s a good chance the owner won’t even need to plug in the Wink to charge it. Ready. Or at least rarely. This means that after buying a Wink with solar panels on top, you can essentially power it for free (or nearly so) for years if you live in an area with a lot of energy. 

And while 60 miles doesn’t sound like much, it fits the car’s (and Dweck’s) simple task:

build a low-cost, stress-free, safe and comfortable urban transport system that eliminates the need to rent scooters, ride e-bikes or rely on other last-mile technologies. Maybe it’s an idea the time has come, because Dweck’s wink isn’t alone in the genre. Polaris sells an LSV called a GEM, but even the most basic GEM model is more expensive than a high-end Wink machine, and most GEM models come with no air, heating and all the rest of the equipment.

Also, Dweck doesn’t sell steam, a fact he says he despises. Real Wink cars exist, not in the form of prototypes or a few handcrafted machines. The Wink site was created a few weeks ago, but only after a shipment of ready-to-go Wink vehicles were ready for unloading at a US shipyard. After a hopeful rollout with several New York City officials recently fell through, Dweck says they’re still on track to officially introduce the vehicles in the coming weeks. The cars can be ordered on the site now and will be delivered within two to three weeks. “We expect our Winks to be cleared and ready to ship in the next few weeks,” 

Looking out the window of my home office in Portland, a fierce easterly wind blows raindrops in the air at 37 degrees and semi-pressurized washes the glass. Take a Vespa or bike to run errands today. Mmmmm….no. I am not a hardcore. If only there was a much more comfortable, maneuverable, and fuel-efficient option to go to the store for some peanut butter and kale. Speed ​​limit in my neighborhood? 25 mph on my street and 20 mph on most other places. The busiest surface arteries nearby are 30-35 mph and Winks is also perfectly legal to drive on those roads, they’re only 25 mph and I’m happy to sneak around the area streets to get to your stops.

With an MSRP starting at $8,995, the Wink costs significantly less than many electric motorcycles, not to mention full-size electric cars (and some nifty golf carts), and that’s before any deals. local/state may be in effect. are not eligible for a federal refund (although that may vary). Even with the suggested retail price of $12,000 for the full boat, the Mark 2 Solar model sells for less than some of the e-bikes I received for review. Another animal, of course, but the price is right and attractive for what you get.

Ahsan Khan
Ahsan Khan
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