Following a five-year application process, Transport Canada has approved the company’s low-speed vehicle series for street use
Simolo Customs Ltd., a Vernon, B.C.-based company, has received regulatory approval to manufacture a low-speed electric vehicle ready for use on public roads.
Its NXT line of low-speed vehicles are similar in design to golf carts, with added safety features and a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour. In addition to golf courses, they are designed for use in gated communities and on other less busy roads.
“It was never really our intention to have them be something you would drive downtown with, but more so that the owner is legal while driving on public roads within their communities,” said Jeffery Holomis, CEO and owner of Simolo Customs.
“Especially in the Okanagan here, like McKinley Beach and Lakestone which are big developments with homes everywhere and they’ve got communal clubhouses down by the water, but only so much… space to park vehicles.”
Simolo Customs was established in 2010, and focused on refurbishing and rebuilding golf carts. Its NXT low-speed vehicle was initially designed in 2015 for off-road use at venues such as golf courses and resorts.
The process of having the vehicle approved for street use by Transport Canada has been in the works since that time, and required the addition of regulation headlights, tail lights, signals, seat belts and windshields.
The two-seat NXT model will sell for $12,495, with a handful of more expensive models also available. Simolo says vehicle production is starting soon, with delivery potentially beginning within two months.
The announcement follows a recent report by the International Council for Clean Transport recommending that Canada quickly accelerate its electric vehicle manufacturing operations in order to prevent a major decline in the size of its automotive economy.
Simolo joins two other companies currently manufacturing electric vehicles on the west coast: Electra Meccanica Vehicle Corp., the Vancouver-based maker of the Solo single-passenger EV, and Damon Motorcycles, also of Vancouver, which unveiled its Hypersport motorbike in January and recently acquired the intellectual property portfolio of Mission Motors, the defunct EV powertrain company.