Part of the Ernie Els Design philosophy is forever being mindful to make the least impact on the environment as possible. It is one of the reasons the Els Club Dubai has in recent years been a proving ground for solar powered golf carts using technology whereby solar cells in the roof canopy capture and transfer the sun’s energy to create green power. The latest addition to the golf cart fleet in Dubai is one such vehicle liveried in Ernie’s favourite colours – the South African flag and the Springbok logo – timed to coincide with this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The idea originally came about when Hydroturf, the Middle East official distributor for Club Car, joined forces with Troon Golf to help promote the Els Course Dubai in a unique way. Thus it was that Bruce Glasco, Kevin Hart and Brian Goudie worked in partnership with Els Club Dubai General Manager Chris Brown to give the golf cart a distinctly patriotic makeover. “We’re sure it will bring a smile to Ernie’s face,” said Brian Goudie. “The cart is here for Ernie to use whenever he is in Dubai.”
The golf cart’s solar cells are designed and engineered by the Denmark-based company SolarDrive. The solar canopies transfer from 180 to 360 watts of energy to a vehicle’s battery system, resulting in considerable additional range between charges in typical applications. Club Car offers SolarDrive roofs to all of its existing and potential clients. The crystalline solar panel modules can be configured for two- to eight-passenger vehicles. The list price of one SolarDrive canopy for a standard size, two-seat golf car ranges from $2,700 to $3,000 depending on vehicle model.
Ernie Els is already a keen supporter of these golf carts. SolarDrive-equipped golf carts have been used at the Ernie Els Invitational at Fancourt in South Africa as well as at the Els Club Dubai. “To be honest, I just don’t see any downside,” said Els. “With SolarDrive technology such as this, everyone benefits. There are significant energy cost savings and obviously the carts are kinder to the environment.” Source…..