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LIDO LIMO/SHUTTLE CAR

An evolution of the Lido NEV was a stretched and widened version that was created for shuttle service. This vehicle was based on the second generation of the Lido. The City of Palm Desert purchased the first three of these vehicles to provide free shuttle service on the famous El Paseo street (think Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills). These particular vehicles accumulated over 12,000 miles of daily service each season - the first one had over 30,000 miles on it the last time I checked. They would run all day on a overnight charge.The City was very pleased with the performance of these vehicles and the drivers and passengers all loved them.

After building the first couple of vehicles on a modified EZ-Go frame, I designed a frame which was completely built in-house. This was supported by designing and building the jigs and tooling to reduce the build time and increase the dimensional accuracy. Widening the vehicle necessitated modifications to the front suspension and rear axles to achieve the wider track width. A 72v AC drive system by Hi Performance Golf Cars was used and provided excellent performance. I did extensive testing to tune the motor control system to provide the necessary performance and range. A motor cooling fan was also incorporated.

A unique feature of two of the City of Palm Desert vehicles was the incorportation of a wheelchair lift system in the front passenger side of the vehicle. Packaging the unit on the vehicle resulted in my complications in the design. One complication was having relocate the steering column which necessitated revisions to the steering system. Another unique feature that resulted was the hinged roof system. The roof was hinged at the rear C-pillars so the front could be raised to provide headroom for the wheelchair passenger. The stanchions for the sign incorporated sliding guides for the roof.

  • Here's a shot of one of the wheelchair lift cars with the roof in the up position. Pivoting the roof was necessary to provide headroom for the passenger in the wheelchair.
  • Under the drivers seat is the wheelchair lift mechanism. There are parts of it on the inboard side of the seat too.
  • The body was based on the second generation Lido which was widened and lengthened by Prototype Concepts.
  • This is a vehicle without the wheelchair lift under construction.
  • The yellow boxes under the toeboard are on-board chargers for the batteries.
  • The running chassis is largely assembed here. The front brakes are easily seen.
  • The front suspension can be barely seen - golf car high tech "Model-T" era. I always told the company president that it was a good thing the speed was limited to 25mph. Occasionally we would crank one up to go 30-35mph - scary!
  • Eventually I designed a frame that we could build completely in-house. With all of the cutting and hacking it took to modify the purchased frames, it made sense to make our own. And the new frame was impressively more rigid.
  • I developed the frame first in CAD, here's a shot of it on the screen. 3D CAD is fantastic!
  • These cars were finally retired after 8 years with each having over 150,000 miles on them!

    Contact Ron Jones at 949-637-6067 or rjones@rongineer.com