TODAY | June 25, 2012
>>> back now at 7:42. if you're tired of paying a small fortune to fill up your car with gas, you may want to move to florida where golf carts rule. kerry sanders is there. kerry, good morning.
>> reporter: these carts are fast becoming popular. they are a little like motorcycles. when it's raining, forget it. but they are fast becoming popular. they are street legal . they go 35 miles an hour. increasingly they are popular not just here but in urban areas where people are driving six to eight miles on city streets . in the central florida community known as the villages, population 5,000, main street often has more quirks than cars. there are an estimated 40,000 carts here, some running on gas getting 50 miles to the gallon. others all electric.
>> insurance is less, registration is less. of course you're not using any gas.
>> drive what looks a lot like a smart car , but this is a chinese built electric vehicle called a candy cocoa.
>> it has all the modern convenience including a radio, ac, airbags.
>> how far can you go?
>> you can go 40 mimes on one charge.
>> he says he takes about eight hours to recharge. yes, it is a two-seater. just to conduct our interview with them in motion, we had a chase vehicle.
>> it has headlights, a windshield and safety belts but that's about it.
>> the auto industry called this class of car an ls v low speed vehicle . recent crash tests for lsv cars are not pretty.
>> when lou at those crash tests, it's kind of scary.
>> yes, i have to agree with that. but you plug in, plug into your house.
>> he sells ls v some as much as $13,000, says price swings is a motivator.
>> this would be nice for us.
>> in maryland where parking is a challenge.
>> only cost about $1.50 ra day for a vehicle.
>> russell has a fleet of 13 cruiser. he shuttles folks to find a place to spark anywhere they want to go for free. costs covered by advertising.
>> it's a niche. but the niche is getting bigger every day.
>> reporter: in ft. lauderdale the judge commutes every day.
>> i have a traditional gas automobile.
>> reporter: before the electric car he used four tanks a month. now he drives the old car so racial he only fills up once a month.
>> four bucks a gallon, $4 a gallon, it's adding up.
>> reporter: okay. so ann and willie, this sounds like a good idea until you hit the weather. i could see you tooling around manhattan because the weather is beautiful. here, not so much.
>> it's pretty darn cute, nonetheless. kerry sanders , thanks so much for that report.