Although the Big Three of cart manufacturers (Yamaha, Club Car, and E-Z-GO) dominate the market, new manufacturers pop up to attempt to compete with them.
One of the more recent of these was the Fairplay golf cart, an option which become reasonably popular but has never quite had the impact of the Big Three.
Who Makes Fairplay Golf Carts?
Currently, nobody produces Fairplay golf carts anymore.
The history behind why this is the case is fairly involved and includes many buyouts, changes in branding, and much more.
Understanding why there are no more Fairplay golf carts produced can help cart buyers better understand what to expect when they do find a used cart on the market and why they may be hard to fix up.
First of all, just about every Fairplay golf cart you are going to find on the used market was produced by a company that was known as Fairplay Electric Cars.
This company started in 2005 in the US, manufacturing their carts in China for years.
They focused specifically on electric carts that were available at a fairer price than what they believed the Big Three were offering to dealers.
However, the name “Fairplay Electric Cars” no longer exists, which complicates this story.
In 2011, they changed their name to Evergreen Electric Vehicles in an attempt to expand their branding and reach a broader audience.
This change came after they started manufacturing carts in America, creating street-legal electric carts as well as off-road vehicles designed to compete with higher-powered carts.
Evergreen Electric Vehicles was also a name change with a branding purpose.
The idea was to distance themselves from the reputation of imported carts that Fairplay had garnered over the years.
Some in the US refused to buy from Fairplay because of this importing.
By changing their name and manufacturing in the US, they hoped to create a more all-American image for their buyers.
Evergreen Gets Bought Out
Evergreen Electric Vehicles was a very short-lived venture.
Though the branding change was designed to improve their reputation with cart buyers who didn’t like the fact that they imported carts, they were purchased in 2012 by another company, CLARK Material Handling Company.
CLARK made this purchase in an attempt to include a broader range of utility vehicles and golf carts to their line.
A press release at the time focused heavily on using the existing carts from Evergreen, along with their marketing team, and to begin a rollout of these products in the 90 days after the announcement date of October 4, 2012.
With more than 600 dealer locations, CLARK felt comfortable about their purchase.
CLARK seemed very dedicated to unveiling these carts and attempting to make an imprint on the industry.
However, anybody who visits CLARK Material Handling Company’s website will find no mention of golf carts anywhere.
CLARK was primarily a forklift manufacturer—with nearly 400,000 vehicles in operation around the world, according to their press release—and continues to be that long after their purchase of Evergreen Electric Vehicles.
Clearly, at some point, they discontinued the carts.
A press release in 2019 celebrating the opening of a new factory does not mention golf carts or any other vehicles—just forklifts.
A look through their news section reveals very little mention of the opening of new golf cart manufacturing centers or anything of that nature.
What exactly happened is a mystery, but it appears that CLARK never ended up manufacturing many, if any, Fairplay carts.
Fairplay Carts are Still on the Used Market
Though Fairplay carts are no longer produced, they are still available on many used markets.
The Fairplay golf cart is known for a fairly “firm” drive, one which doesn’t feature a lot of excessive movement as you drive.
This description was common among forum users discussing the Fairplay, with some approving of the drive and others saying the carts were cheap and poorly designed.
Fairplay golf carts mostly have a DC motor because they were produced before the golf cart industry started moving in a more AC-oriented direction.
However, there were kits produced which could convert the engine to this power type.
Finding this type of kit may be difficult because they are no longer produced, meaning that those who possess them may try to sell them at inflated prices.
Are Fairplay carts a good investment for those who like collecting?
That’s hard to say.
As mentioned, the prices may be higher than expected due to scarcity.
However, Fairplay is not considered a luxury or historic brand, so prices may also be quite low.
The quality of the cart will vary depending on how well it was taken care of by the former owner and whether there are any repair options.
As a result, it may be best to pass on this cart.
That said, if you can find an inexpensive option that runs well, you may be pleasantly surprised because Fairplay carts were known to possess many unique accessories, such as beverage holders and expansive rear seats.