Assemblymembers Nestande and Medina Introduce Measure for a New Motor Vehicle Classification: Medium Speed Electric Vehicles

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymembers Brian Nestande, (R- Palm Desert) and Jose Medina, (D-Riverside) announced a bipartisan measure, Assembly Bill 225, that would create a new Medium Speed Electric Vehicle (MSEV) classification in California.

Currently, both California and Federal law regulate a class of Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV).  Most vehicles sold in the LSV category are upgraded “golf carts,” often with open cabs and limited load carrying capacity.  In the past few years, many companies have started building electric vehicles that look like small cars, vans and trucks, but are sold as LSVs because that is the only classification available.  However, MSEVs can travel faster than the 25mph LSV limit, and can be made significantly safer than the open “golf cart” type vehicle.

“California always prides itself on being a national leader when it comes to environmentally sound technology.  This bill will not only make way for a more eco-friendly vehicle on our roads, but it will also help spur job creation as there are several companies in the state that specialize in either the importation or manufacturing of LSVs and MSEVs.  AB 225 is a win-win for the business community and the environment,” said Nestande. 

Currently, eleven other states allow MSEVs to operate at 35 mph or faster on public roadways, including: Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

“California is a state defined by being on the cutting edge of environmental technology and innovation and this bill will continue to move California forward,” said Assemblymember Medina. “As Chair of the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee, I am proud to be principal co-author of this bipartisan bill which will help promote job creation.”

Electric vehicles in the MSEV category can be made lighter, more energy efficient and less costly to purchase than highway speed electric cars or trucks.  The creation of the MSEV category will significantly expand the opportunities to employ electric vehicles as replacements for internal combustion cars and trucks for personal transportation and utility uses.  This can have a highly beneficial impact on air quality, particularly in urban areas and would reduce fossil fuel consumption in California.

MSEVs would be licensed to operate at a speed of up to 35 mph on public streets with posted speed limits of up to 45 mph.  They must have a fully enclosed passenger compartment, be propelled by an electric motor, and must meet or exceed the requirements for safety equipment specified in Section 571.500 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.