Tennessee Relaxes EV Laws

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
tennessee relaxes ev laws

"Everyone" knows that electric vehicles (EVs) are going to be a big part of America's long-term transportation mix. Unfortunately, the sector is currently dominated by either largely hypothetical super-expensive roadsters, far-off Hail-Marys and glorified golf carts (e.g. Zap's Xebra). At the mo, Chinese EVs are the most viable of the three for everyday use. While their classification as low speed vehicles (LSVs) helps the not-so-crashworthy vehicles circumvent strict safety standards, it limits the EVs to a 25mph top speed AND restricts them to roads with 35mph speed limits or below. The Tennessean reports that their legislature has joined Montana and Washington in lowering the regulatory bar for EVs. Starting July 1, Tennessee's LSVs are allowed to drive up to 35mph on roads with up to a 40mph top speed. The law reclassifies electric LSVs as medium speed vehicles (MSVs) if they are physically able to reach the 35mph top speed (which, ostensibly, excludes golf carts). Some 211 qualifying EVs have been registered in The Volunteer State so far. If more states adopt higher speed limits for EVs, there may be enough market demand to justify investment in more capable, versatile and SAFE battery-powered vehicles.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jul 14, 2008

    And FWIW I'm for relaxing any laws that don't take anything away from me. If my neighbor wants to drive one of these low speed vehicles, then more power to him. If I run over him then I'm safer than if I ran over his Taurus... Will not run over anybody for the record...

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Jul 15, 2008

    It's a good idea to relax some of these regs. It actually doesn't make sense to say that an EV can't use a road where the speed limit is 45 but a bicycle can.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jul 15, 2008

    I dunno -- on windy roads with 45MPH speed limits, it would be rather dangerous to have vehicles traveling at 35. Of course, this could be solved by affixing a reflective orange triangle to the rear of said vehicle (as they do with Amish buggies here in PA).

  • Geggamoya Geggamoya on Jul 15, 2008

    The huge reflective orange triangle is used on moped cars around here. Basically cars like these EVs, but with a small diesel engine. As far as i know, they are physically limited to 45kph like normal mopeds. And for what they are, they are ridiculously expensive around here. Stuff like these, http://www.automobiles-ligier.com/