Driving Like It's 1999: The Bombardier NEV

The Bombardier NEV had a little electric engine that could. But only if you wanted to run local errands.
Written by Alex Reale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 31, 2022
For many EV buyers, the name of the game is range. Getting from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a single charge is paramount, and companies like
Lucid
are delivering. 
Other buyers, however, have no interest in keeping up with the e-Joneses, and simply want to be able to get to the grocery store and back. For these lower maintenance buyers, there’s the neighborhood electric vehicle. 
Jerry
, the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
, shares a bit about the Bombardier NEV, a piece of
car history
.

What is an NEV?

Neighborhood electric vehicles, or NEVs, are classified officially by the
NHTSA
as low-speed vehicles, or LSVs. 
To qualify as an LSV, a vehicle must be four-wheeled and have “a maximum speed greater than 20 miles per hour, but not greater than 25 miles per hour.” A golf cart that has been modified to achieve these speed parameters would also qualify as an LSV. 
An NEV can be driven legally in a few limited settings.
Tech Target
notes that NEVs can be driven on streets with a 35 mph limit, and can cross streets with a 45 mph limit. 
This may sound extremely feeble, but the rules are in place for good reason: most neighborhood electric vehicles are small, doorless, and ill-equipped for confrontation. But if your local bakery just opened up for the day and you promised your spouse fresh bread, parking couldn’t be easier.

The Bombardier NEV

The Bombardier NEV first hit the streets in 1996. Compact and cute at 100 inches long and 61 inches tall, according to
It Still Runs
, the Bombardier NEV generated an adorable 5.3 hp, thanks to a fully electric 72-volt DC battery. Fully charged it would take passengers about 30 miles, says
MotorTrend
MotorTrend also points out some of the use cases for the Bombardier NEV: since it is essentially a golf cart, it might be ideal for little tourist towns or for gated communities. Drivers can get from close place to close place without breaking the bank, and without worrying about the dangers of driving on the open road in a tiny vehicle. 
In its heyday, the Bombardier NEV cost $7,000—which was a bargain even in the ‘90s. Drivers with local errands and access to a charging port were sitting pretty indeed. 
Sadly, the Bombardier NEV has since been discontinued. Maybe try rolling down all the windows in your Tesla and taking the slowest route to Vons?

Saving on car insurance

Whether you’re keeping an old Bombardier NEV alive or picking up your new Rivian, you’ll want to have great
car insurance
. The
Jerry
app is a good place to start. 
A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.7/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
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National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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