Industry News – September/October 2009

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FAIRPLAY EVE LSV QUALIFIES FOR BIG TAX CREDIT
On April 24, 2009, the IRS announced tax credits that could benefit taxpayers who purchase qualified Low Speed vehicles.  According to the IRS code, taxpayers may qualify for one of the following credits:

The ARRA Credit.  A credit equal to 10% of the cost of the vehicle, up to $2,500 for a LSV purchased after February 17, 2009 and before January 1, 2012 or The EESA Credit.  A credit of $2,500 to $7,500 for a four wheeled vehicle that draws propulsion using a rechargeable battery with at least four kilowatt hours of capacity purchased in 2009. The actual credit is determined by the capacity of the battery and limited to range of credits listed above. Calculation of the Fairplay Tax Credit on the EVE LSV is $4,234.72 

 

We asked Ronald Paredes, the Application Engineer at Trojan Batteries in Santa Fe Springs, California, to calculate the Kilo-Watt-hours of the commonly used T-875 the battery system. In his response he confirmed that an LSV/NEV equipped with 6 of the T-875 batteries (48 Volts) has 8.16 KWh and therefore meats the requirements. The math is as follows:
The Trojan T-875 battery at a 20 hour discharge rate; has 170 Amp-hours (Ahs)
The Watt-hours (Wh), is the product of the Ahs times the voltage (8 Volts): Watt  = 170 Ahs x 8 = 1360 Wh per battery
Kilo-Watt-hours (kWh) is Wh divided by 1000 for each cycle: 1360 Wh/1000=1.36 kWh per battery x 6 batteries in the pack=8.16 kWh  

 

Therefore the T-875’s met the minimum requirement and qualifies for the $2,500 tax credit plus and additional 4.16 kWh @ $417=$1,734.72 for a grand total of $4,234.72.  This is good news since many vehicles in the Fairplay EVE LSV uses this battery configuration. Here are some FAQ’s;

Which cars qualify?  All qualified LSV’s (aka NEV’s) such as the Fairplay EVE meet the Title 48 CFR, Chapter V, Part 571.500 Standard No. 500 specifications purchased in 2009.

Do Golf Cars Qualify?  No.  Only qualified LSV vehicles sold in the correct time period qualify.

What does the term certified mean?  This term refers to the newest IRS guidelines wherein the manufacturer must apply for a certificate and receive notification of approval.  A copy of the certificate will be provided by Fairplay to the EVE dealer, who in turn will give a copy to the end user to use when applying for the tax credit.

Can a taxpayer get both credits?  No.  The taxpayer can only get one credit on vehicles that qualify for both…obviously the higher credit would be the one to request.

Who will determine the credit?  This is the same credit on the certification request submitted by Fairplay for the EVE LSV and will be listed on the official certificate.

Are multiple Credits available?  Yes.  The credits are available for each vehicle.  The limitations will be based on the customer’s ability to use all the credits based on their income. Taxpayers should seek advice and council of reliable tax consultants or accounts.

How long is the $4,234.34.00 credit in effect?  With cars sold by December 31, 2009

What forms to use for consumers to claim for the tax credits?   The most recent notice published on IRS web site indicates the July 2009 version of form 8834 will be used for ARRA credit, and a new form 8936, named as Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit, will be used for EESA credit.

How does the tax credit work?   This means a dollar for dollar reduction of the amount the taxpayer owes to the IRS in 2009.  Customers who plan to use the tax incentive should seek tax advice in advance of the purchase to be certain this deduction will work for them. For a summary of the release from the IRS go to http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=207051,00.html

 

GPSI EXECUTIVE: U.S. SATELLITE SYSTEM ‘Too Important’ to Fail; GOLF INDUSTRY SHOW SHOULD NOT EXPERIENCE INTERRUPTED SERVICE

A recent government report that questioned the viability of the U.S. global positioning system should not concern golf courses that have come to rely on GPS as a course management tool and a technology that enhances their customers’ golf experience, according to officials at GPS Industries.

 

The Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog agency, recently warned of “significant challenges” to maintaining the satellite-based navigation system at full strength beginning as soon as 2010. The report cited technical problems and delays in a $5.8 billion plan to upgrade the system with next-generation satellites.

 

“If the government concludes that some banks are ‘too big to fail,’ we’re confident it also will decide that the GPS program is too important not to be maintained at the highest standard,” said Alex Doaga, executive vice president and chief technical officer for Sarasota-based GPS Industries, an international developer of global positioning systems and Wi-Fi multimedia solutions for the golf industry.

 

Doaga called GPS a “strategic technology” that supports a wide range of government and commercial ventures. ”We rely on GPS to guide missiles, ambulance drivers and golf cars to their destinations,” he said. “The government says it has the issue under control, and we can’t envision any disruption of service.”

 

The technology publication PC World also took a reassuring stance in reaction to the GAO report, saying there are two factors working in GPS’s favor: “One is its popularity with consumers. Second is its role in national security, making it imperative that a solution be found and raising the political pressure to do so.” Golf courses utilize GPS to manage their golf car fleets, tracking their battery status and limiting their use in certain areas. Golfers also use the technology to determine distance and communicate with course personnel to place food and beverage orders, for example.

 

The GPS uses 32 satellites orbiting 12,000 miles high, each circling the globe every 12 hours. Officials at u-blox, the Swiss company that supplies GPS receivers for GPSI applications, notes that the current GPS constellation is augmented by three Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) satellites developed by the Federal Aviation Administration. WAAS satellites can be received in North America and are not affected by the GAO warning, effectively increasing the GPS constellation to 35 satellites. The satellites broadcast radio signals to earth with information about their location and the exact time the signal was transmitted. By calculating the difference between the radio signals received, GPS receivers on the ground can accurately determine their own location. Currently there are more than 30 satellites in space; they are regularly replaced as they age and fail. The first replacement satellite is expected to be launched in November. For more information, go to www.gpsindustries.com.

 

JACOBSEN APPOINTS NEW VP OF SALES AND MARKETING

Martin L. Levy has joined Jacobsen as vice president of sales and marketing, with responsibility for the Americas and Asia Pacific. He will report to Dan Wilkinson, president of Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

 

Levy began his career with Ingersoll-Rand Company in 1988 and throughout his time there held positions of increasing responsibility. He started out as an applications engineer for Latin America in the construction and mining group, working his way through a variety of sales and marketing management positions, including several at vice president level. In 2007, Doosan acquired Ingersoll-Rand’s portable power and utility equipment businesses and Levy joined Doosan as vice president of sales for the Americas in their portable power business.

 

In all of these positions he has delivered exceptional revenue growth and has led a variety of teams to consistently exceed market growth rates. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master of business administration from the University of Miami, Coral Gables. Levy and his family will reside in Charlotte.

The appointment of Levy is due to the impending retirement of Ralph Nicotera, vice president of sales, who has spent 35 years with Jacobsen and will retire in early 2010.

 

For information about the company, its products and commitment to customer support is available at www.jacobsen.com.

 

GCSAA SURVEY REVEALS MEMBER VALUE INCREASE

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) member superintendent salaries increased an average 6.9 percent from 2007 to an average of $78,898, according to the 2009 GCSAA Compensation, Benefits and Operations report.

 

The 2009 GCSAA member superintendent median salary also increased 6.1 percent from the median salary in 2007, which compares favorably to the Bureau of Labor’s Employment Cost Index national rate of 5.9 percent for similar industries in the same two-year time period.

 

GCSAA member superintendent salaries have risen every year that GCSAA has conducted its compensation, benefits and operations survey. The average GCSAA member superintendent salary has shown an overall gain of 60.1 percent from $49,269 in 1995, to the 2009 average of $78,898.

 

“This survey reinforces the feedback we’ve received from golfers and employers that GCSAA members are key to the enjoyment of the game and the economic success of the facility,” GCSAA President Mark D. Kuhns, CGCS, said. “The rising salary indicates that our members continue to be recognized for those contributions.”

 

All participating GCSAA members receive free online access to the report. They may also purchase a hard copy for $15 by calling GCSAA at 800-472-7878. Non-participating GCSAA members may purchase online access for $125, or both online access and a hard copy for $140. Non-members may purchase online access and a hard copy for $500. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.com.

BATTRECON’S SULFATION ELIMINATION PROCESS: SCIENCE OR SNAKE OIL?
Bravo Zulu International Ltd., a company specializing in the design and development of motive industry lead-acid battery de-sulfation devices, has announced the development and release of the Batt-Recon Model 4800 AGC.  The “AGC” is a lead-acid battery de-sulfating machine developed specifically to de-sulfate Golf Car batteries in about 20-30 minutes.  Since 2007, BZI has become the recognized leader in the forklift battery restoration market with their Patent Pending Model 4800 “M” Motive/Industrial system.  This system has revolutionized the motive battery market saving clients thousands of dollars per battery, restoring batteries that were once deemed only salvage value

Golf car operators using the Model 4800 M have had great success, but wanted a smaller, lower cost version dedicated to the Golf Car Industry.  The larger Model 4800 M was redesigned and made smaller, lighter and just as fast, at a fraction of the cost.  The new model was designated the “AGC,” Automotive/Golf Car Version, and is a breakthrough in technology allowing for the first time, a commercially viable method to restore an entire golf car set of batteries in about 20-30 minutes!  You simply install the Model AGC clamps onto the entire battery pack (the batteries stay in the car during the process) and turn the Power Select Knob to the desired amplitude.  Wait about 20 to 30 minutes and move the AGC to the next golf car, and so on.

 

Using the AGC in your Golf Car business saves charging electricity, extends the life of your battery pack, and generates cash flow by allowing you to provide a valuable service to your clients.  For the first time, you can restore batteries that are returned in lease vehicles, rather than simply replace them!

 

Bravo Zulu International Ltd., a company in the southern Los Angeles California Area, is now offering the Model 4800 AGC Professional Battery De-sulfation system for sale or rental.  For more information about saving thousands of dollars per year on your fleet operations, contact the company at 951-928-0595, or visit them on the web at www.battrecon.com.

 

NEW GOLF CAR SEATS DESIGNED TO HAVE YOUR BACK IN LUXURIOUS STYLE

Golf enthusiasts and brothers, David and Dan Vahala, share a love of the game and an eye for innovative business opportunities. Their newest inspiration? Luxurious and stylish seats that fit on golf cars.

 

“It’s simple when you think about it. People expect comfortable seats in their cars, they choose comfortable seating for their homes, so why not enjoy those same benefits when you’re riding on a golf car?” said David Vahala, President, Ultimate Golf Seating, with headquarters in Elkhart, Ind. and offices in Naples, Fla. “On average, you’ll spend four hours playing a round of golf, so we designed our seats to offer exceptional back comfort and also be stylish.” Medical experts agree.


“What I really like about Ultimate Golf Seating is that you don’t have to think about sitting properly to protect your back. These seats support your whole back and you can feel that right away,” said William S. Billmyre of Billmyre Chiropractic Life Center. “There’s nothing worse than not being able to do something because your back hurts. These seats invite you to sit in them.”

“These seats are great for the natural curve in your spine, and they offer cervical support with the adjustable headrests,” said Dr. Murray Johnston of Southwest Spinal Care. “Nearly 90 percent of my patients play golf, while 95 percent of them are over the age of 65 and nearly 100 percent of them have disc problems. The Ultimate Golf  Seating product forces you to sit the way you should, and that helps promote spinal health.”

 

Ultimate Golf Seating has three styles of seats available, along with a palette of color selections. All of the seats can also be custom embroidered to include, for example, a customer’s favorite club or team. The Luxury Bucket and Luxury Bench seats look like the type of seats you would find in a luxury car. Both feature adjustable headrests and lumbar support, and fold-down armrests. The Luxury Bucket style offers a center locking console, while the Luxury Bench style offers a center fold-down armrest. The seats are made with high-quality, marine grade vinyl for proven durability, while underneath is a foam made of a superior resiliency polyurethane similar to high-end mattresses.

“Golf cars are outside a lot, so we wanted to use materials that were made to withstand UV rays, yet also be easy to clean with our Ultimate Stain Shield Protection coating,” said Vahala. A third design, the Premier Bench Seat, offers the same quality of materials and comfort as the Luxury series, but is designed for fleet use.

 

“We created these seats so they can fit onto Club Car, EZ Go and Yamaha brand golf cars,” said Vahala. “And they can be easily installed in just a few steps.” “Our seats offer a great alternative in seating in two important ways,” said Vahala. “How they feel for your back and how they look on your golf car.” Additional information about Ultimate Golf Seating is available online at www.ultimategolfseating.com or by calling toll-free at (888) 989-9887.