The Peachtree City golf cart war: Gas vs. electric

The debate in Peachtree City is electric golf carts vs. gas golf carts; can they coexist on the paths winding through the Fayette County village?

According to an online survey conducted in preparation for the Thursday night City Council meeting, 79 percent of the 1,728 responses agree with a proposed ordinance to ban gas-powered golf cars. The voting also showed 14.6 percent did not want gas-powered carts banned, and the remaining 6.4 percent really didn’t care, according to spokeswoman Betsy Tyler.

“My dislike of gas carts does not overcome the freedom of other citizens to make their own choice,” one person wrote on the city’s website. “This smacks of the heavy hand of the nanny state.”

The proposed change would allow already-registered gas golf carts to cruise the paths for the next decade, but no new ones would be registered.

Pam Dufresne, deputy city clerk, said there are about 10,500 registered carts and 5 percent of those run on gasoline. The gas golf cart owners were asked additional questions on the survey.

The most common reasons they chose gas instead of electric are the carts have more power on hills,  the fear of the battery running out and stranding the driver and passengers on the path at night, and the gas carts are cheaper to operate.

One person suggested the only reason to ban gas-powered carts was “to be difficult and mean-spirited.”

The overall response from those supporting the ban was that gas golf carts are noisy, “smelly” and move too fast.

“Gas golf carts detract from the natural nature of the path system. They are noisy and they pollute the paths,” one person wrote.

Another wrote: “Gas carts are ridiculous, and all of us grown [sic] when we pass one. They stink.”

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