Yamaha Drive AC PTV Golf Cart Review
Pure Power. Pure Fun.
By David Theoret
As a golfer, you're probably familiar with Yamaha Golf Carts. Their gas models seem to dominate the northern states, especially in areas where hills are more prevalent. This hill-climbing prowess couldn't be any more apparent than it is on the 2015 Yamaha Drive AC PTV (Personal Transportation Vehicle).
Unlike other golf cart manufacturers, Yamaha is the sole provider of all of the components that make up their IntelliPower System: the electric motor, control unit and the regenerative braking.
Just in case there is any doubt, AC does in fact stand for Alternating Current. So, how can a cart that is powered by batteries run on alternating current, you ask? The answer is in the motor. Yamaha has built a brushless, 48-volt, 6.7 horsepower, 350 amp AC motor with internal components that are nickel plated and stainless steel. With the motor being brushless, there are considerably less moving parts and, with corrosion resistant internal parts, this motor could literally last forever! The 6.5 HP motor is one of the strongest in the industry and helps the drive achieve a top speed of 19.5 MPH.
It's a well-known fact that AC motors operate more efficiently, drawing less amps. This can lead to run times between charges that are more than 20% longer. And, AC motors also offer more available torque at higher speeds for extra hill climbing power and quicker acceleration than their DC counterparts. In testing out this buggy, I found that the Drive AC PTV cart actually seems to accelerate going uphill.
Six 8-volt Trojan batteries are standard equipment on the Drive AC PTV as is the best warranty in the industry: 4 years or 1,000 rounds. For courses that need extra range or for private car customers living in golf car communities that use their cart to travel locally instead of an automobile, the eight 6-volt battery configuration can provide up to 33% more range. A 6 8-volt configuration provides plenty of power and is less expensive to maintain.
This Yamaha cart has a fully independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering which is maintenance free- an industry first. It's a sealed unit that has been permanently greased with sealed bearings and no-grease fitting on the tie-rod ends. The Drive AC also has a tighter turning radius and offers superior brake performance and feel. The Drive's break system is also completely enclosed, which eliminates brake drums and shoes. It's self-adjusting and offers more consistent braking. This automotive-style suspension provides the smoothest ride in the industry.
The HybriCore chassis combines an automotive, ladder-style, 100% robotically welded steel frame protected by an 18-step paint process, to a polypropylene structural floor. This unique design not only gives the chassis added strength, it's also 20% lighter and 2.5 times stronger and protects the batteries and electrical connections.
So, if the chassis is new and the motor, braking system and control units are new, about the only thing left is the body, right? Guess what, the body material is new as well. It's made of custom-formulated Thermoplastic Olefin, giving it superior flexibility and durability. The Drive is available in 8 colors, four of which are brilliant metallic colors.
The ergonomic features incorporated into then Yamaha Drive AC PTV offer comfort and ease of use; especially for different size drivers. The automotive-style dash has four cup holders to hold different-size cups, all of which are easy to access while moving. The center storage area is suitable for cell phones, wallets, and personal items. There are six ball holders and six tee holders; as well as a big, easy-to-clean storage compartment on each side. The basket behind the seat is larger and deeper than most and utilizes the extra space created by the slant of the seatback. From the easy-grip steering wheel, to the large comfortable armrests and the largest contoured seats of any manufacturer, the Drive will have you rolling down the fairway or the street in comfort and style. It also boasts the largest occupancy space of any golf cart made today. My wife is a little over 5' tall and can stand up straight in it!
A state-of-the-art cart needs a state-of-the-art charger and that's exactly what Yamaha has created. The new charger weighs less than 10 lbs. and its solid state Field Effect Transistor design is completely electronic. It communicates and stores charging information with The Drive's motor control unit, and won't overcharge. Yamaha has designed the Drive AC PTV to be the most energy-efficient golf cart ever built.
Aesthetically, golf carts don't get any better. The Yamaha Drive AC PTV comes equipped with high output halogen headlights, LED brake lights and a horn, 10" aluminum wheels with black accents, chrome lug nuts and chrome caps on big 10" tires.
Simply put, this Yamaha cart is fun to drive. For the past several months, I've driven this cart all around our community and on the course. I am constantly amazed at how easily this cart takes on any size hill, either on the road or on the course, And as well as the Drive AC performs going up and down the hills on the street, it seems to do even better on the golf course. It attacks hills of any size and scales them with ease. Acceleration is smooth and powerful, leaving competitive models in the dust! I've heard it said that whoever gets to their ball first, gets the best lie. With the Yamaha Drive AC my lies have gotten a lot better.
For more information on the Yamaha Drive AC PTV, visit your local Yamaha dealer or visit the Yamaha Golf Cart website at www.yamahagolfcar.com.
Revised: 10/26/2015 - Article Viewed 29,773 Times
About: David Theoret
David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 10 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids - the latter of which never seems to help. David's articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel and equipment websites.
Growing up in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, it was naturally assumed he would play hockey. Beginning at the age of 3 and continuing into his late 30's, he did just that. However, after one too many pucks to the head, he realized that golf was a lot easier on the body (whoever said hockey players were slow) and took the game up.
After moving to Florida and accepting a position with TravelGolf Media (now part of GolfNow) his love for the game grew exponentially. Most Saturdays you will find him on a course somewhere in Florida or on the practice range reinforcing his bad habits. David plays to a 10 handicap - unless there is money involved in which case it goes considerably higher. He currently resides in Lakeland, FL with his wife Belinda and their two "kids", Madyson and Molly.
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