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Could Tiny EVs Reclaim America's Streets?

As the cars on US roads grow larger and heavier every year, perhaps going electric simply isn’t enough. To reclaim city streets from massive trucks and SUVs while simultaneously promoting affordable and efficient electric vehicles, New York-based startup Wink Motors thinks it has the answer.

Advert for Wink Motors' tiny electric cars

Whilst OGN has raved about the tiny Citroen Ami (that costs less per month than most phone contracts) that's gaining popularity in European cities, it's good news that a similar concept is set to hit metropolitan roads in the USA.

Wink has just unveiled four new neighborhood electric vehicles designed for American roads. They are engineered to conform to federal regulations and are street-legal under low-speed vehicle (LSV) regulations.

Basically, LSVs are small electric vehicles that operate at maximum speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h). They’re permitted on US roads with speed limits posted up to 35 mph (56 km/h). So, no cross-country jaunts, but ideal for getting around town. That lower speed also makes them safer and more efficient – perfect for city driving in crowded urban areas where speeds rarely exceed LSV limits. In Manhattan, you may never even get up to 25 mph!

All of the vehicles (there's a choice of four in Wink's line up) include four seats, AC and heaters, backup cameras, a parking distance sensor, three-point seat belts, dual-circuit hydraulic disc brakes, 7 kW peak-rated motors, safer LiFePO4-chemistry batteries, electric windows and door locks, key fob for remote locking, windshield wipers, and many of the other features we generally associate with cars.

But these aren’t actually “cars,” at least not in a legal sense. They’re motor vehicles, but LSVs are their own classification separate from traditional cars.

Wink expects to begin delivering its first vehicles before the end of the year, with prices starting at $8,995 for the 40-mile-range (64 km) Sprout model. Considering a new golf cart can easily cost $9K-$10K, that sounds quite reasonable. Do you know of any golf carts that come with air conditioning or power windows?



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