Kandi’s new collapsible electric golf cart is the latest tiny EV coming for your neighborhood


Kandi’s new collapsible electric golf cart is the latest tiny EV coming for your neighborhood

Golf carts aren’t just for golfers anymore. In fact, they’re getting much more use away from the golfing green as an alternative to cars in neighborhoods all over the US. Now Kandi America’s new collapsible mini golf cart is trying to reframe the concept of low-impact urban transportation.

Golf carts have wheeled their way out of the fairways, becoming the go-to chariot for zipping around local neighborhoods with a touch of whimsy and practicality. They embody the perfect blend of leisure and utility, offering an eco-friendlier alternative to gas-guzzling SUVs and even electric cars for short hops around town. Plus, there’s an undeniable charm in waving to familiar faces from the comfort of a golf cart, making every ride feel like a small parade through your neighborhood. Whether it’s the ease of parking, the breeze in your hair, or simply the joy of embracing a slower pace of life, golf carts have transformed local transportation into a delightful blend of fun, functionality, and community spirit.

But somehow in true American fashion, as golf carts have become more popular as transportation around neighborhoods, their size has also ballooned. These days, most local runabout golf carts you’ll find are likely to feature lifted chassis with big wheels and massive tires.

They’re a far cry from old-school ClubCars from a decade ago, and the trend toward bigger golf carts doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. Or at least that was until Kandi America’s new collapsible mini golf cart rolled onto the scene, showing that bigger might not always be better.

This tiny little golf cart features many of the same components you’ll find on a traditional cart, including front and rear seating, cup holders, independent double A-arm suspension (at least in the front), seat belts, and even a frunk for up-front storage.

But unlike larger golf carts, this pint-sized version is just a two-seater and comes in a much more compact form factor. Not only is it already physically smaller than typical carts, but it shrinks its wheelbase at the push of a button to take up even less space when parked. The little cart is just under 8 feet long when fully deployed for driving, but shrinks down to under 5.5 feet when collapsed. It’s also a mere 35 inches wide, or just under 3 feet. (For everyone else that uses a sensical unit of measure, that’s 89 cm wide and either 244 cm or 158 cm long when extended or collapsed).

It’s also significantly lighter than a typical golf cart, tipping the scales at just 265 lb (120 kg). That’s less than a third of the golf carts you see every day.

The little buggy doesn’t have a very powerful motor (between 1-5 kW depending on which spec sheet you read) or a very fast top speed (9 mph/ 14.5 km/h), but it has a decently long range of 25 miles (40 km). With a 1.8 kWh lithium-ion battery that charges from a typical 120V AC wall outlet, that range is likely enough for most neighborhood cruisers.

There’s even apparently an add-on roof accessory as well, turning this into a full (or slightly more) featured urban runabout.

And the best part is probably the price. If you haven’t checked lately, today’s golf carts are insanely expensive. If you’ve driven away from a golf cart dealer without breaking five figures, you’ve performed a rare feat. $12,000 golf carts are the norm, and the prices go up quickly from there. But this little guy? It’s priced at a cool US $4,999. Sure, I’ve got a garage full of electric bikes that can go three times as fast for a third of the price, but they serve a different role and are meant for a different type of commuter.

Perhaps small electric golf carts are the affordably-priced car alternatives needed for those who aren’t ready to throw their leg over a bike or mix it up with cars on the main roads. They’re a fair-weather friend for all of those local errands that simply don’t require a 5,000 lb vehicle.

In a sea of ever larger and heavier electric vehicle launches, this could be a chance to return to basics with a right-sized machine for local trips. Just think about it: while your neighbor is compensating for lord-only-knows-what with his Cybertruck, your sheer confidence can make you the talk of all the ladies at the local bunco night.

Electrek’s Take

You know what? I freaking love this thing. I think the world would be a better place with more odd little EVs that are designed to be just enough for the job.

How many parents shuttle their kids around the neighborhood in a massive SUV? How many down-the-road school runs could be performed in a small, fun little EV like this? How many hops down to the local market could this thing do all over the US? The possibilities are endless!

And yes, I get it – this thing is barely a step up from a Rascal scooter designed for geriatrics. But you know what? “Barely” is still something. And it’s cool/cute/unique enough that I think a lot of people who wouldn’t want to ride around on grandma’s scooter would actually have fun on something like this. I know because I definitely would! Heck, I’ve got a reputation as the guy who will drive anything on the internet, but even I don’t want to be seen on a prescription scooter. This thing though? I’d drive this Kandi mini cart until the aluminum wheels fell off!

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