Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular among off-road enthusiasts. While many people still associate electric vehicles with luxury cars, there are now several affordable options available. In fact, some electric models are actually cheaper to buy than comparable gasoline-powered machines.
While there are plenty of reasons why someone might want to go electric, one of the biggest benefits is no emissions. Gasoline engines produce fumes that pollute the air we breathe, and even small amounts of pollution can cause serious health problems. By comparison, electric vehicles emit nothing but water vapor.
The technology behind electric vehicles isn't exactly new. We've been driving combustion-engine vehicles for decades, and the basic principles remain unchanged. However, the advent of modern battery technology has allowed us to take these same concepts, and apply them to a whole new class of vehicle. Today, electric vehicles are much closer to their mainstream counterparts than ever before, and since 2021 electric utility task vehicles (UTV), in particular, have been poised to become the standard for off-roading.
What is an electric UTV?
An electric UTV is extremely similar to a regular UTV, with all the same standard features, providing you with ample ground clearance and the ability to navigate rough terrain. The only difference is the fact that it runs on an electric motor.
In order to cater to the increasing popularity of eco-friendly consumption, UTV manufacturers have begun to develop more electric vehicles. From the Polaris XP kinetic ranger, which runs on a 14.9 KWh lithium-ion battery, to Kawasaki's electric vehicle experiments, the market is growing rapidly.
How far can an electric UTV go?
With a mid-range UTV, you can look forward to getting about 35-40 miles on a full charge. For a higher-range UTV, you can expect to go as high as 100 miles on a single charge. It really depends on the make and the model of the vehicle you purchase.
Hisun Motors' new electric vehicle, for example, is called the Polaris Ranger EV. It uses lithium ion batteries to power four electric motors that make up the rear axle. These are joined by another set of motors on the front axle. Altogether, there are six electric motors powering the vehicle. The Polaris Ranger EV gets a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Its battery capacity is rated at 80 kWh. It takes around 8 hours to charge fully. You can use a Level 2 charging station to do this.
Is an electric UTV right for you?
If you want to know if an electric UTV might be a good fit for you, here are some things to consider:
- How do you plan to use it? Do you plan to primarily do yard work, homesteading, ranching or hunting? Do you plan to take long weekend trips or go off-road?
- What size vehicle do you currently have? Will you be able to use it to transport an electric UTV?
- Do you like being able to ride trails? Can you handle rough terrain?
- Do you enjoy camping, multi day trips and ATV vacations?
- Are you comfortable driving a vehicle with high ground clearance?
Benefits of electric UTVs
There are different benefits that you can get with an electric UTV. Below are some of the main advantages of going electric.
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular because of their quiet operation and low emissions. In fact, some people even prefer to use them over gas-powered models since they don't make any noise while driving. After all, these vehicles rely on batteries, which power the motors, rather than gasoline engines.
Provide an enjoyable ride
Electric vehicles offer more fun and convenience than their traditional gas-powered counterparts. Thanks to the numerous benefits that an electric vehicle provides, you can get more out of your ride. For example, the silence of the vehicles makes hunting more enjoyable.
The cost of running an ATV or UTV is about $1,500 per month. Include gas, oil changes, batteries, tires, and regular maintenance, and your annual bill could go up by at least $5,000. When you factor in the average price of gasoline, you're looking at spending around $1,400 just to keep your ride running. If you want to cut down on those expenses, consider buying an electric quad or side-by-side. These models are typically cheaper to operate, because they don't require fuel, and they won't need routine maintenance like engines do.
Drawbacks of electric UTVs
Here are some things that you should consider before committing to investing in an electric UTV.
Reduction in power
The biggest drawback to electric UTVs is power. Most models today are powered by lithium ion batteries, which can deliver about 80 miles per hour. By comparison, gas-powered UTVs can go up to 150 mph. While some companies are working on developing better battery technology, there aren't many options out there just yet.
Lack of speed
Speed is another big issue. Electric motors don't produce much torque, meaning that acceleration isn't very good. This makes getting off the starting line difficult, especially if you're trying to beat traffic.
Range is another limitation with electric UTVs. Some models can run for up to 200 miles on one charge, while others can do less than 50 miles, which can create serious range anxiety in drivers. Also, most vehicles require charging every night.
Finally, electric UTVs aren't always easy to find. Some dealerships carry just a few brands, while others carry dozens. So, if you want a specific make and model in mind, you might have to shop around.
How much does an electric UTV cost?
The average price of gasoline is around $2.50 per gallon, while electricity varies depending on where you live. For our calculations, we used the following assumptions:
- Gasoline – $2.50 per Gallon
- Maintenance – $0.35 per mile
- Electricity – $0.10 per kWh
- Retail price of vehicle – $26,500
How long do electric UTV batteries last?
The average EV battery life span varies, depending on usage patterns, driving conditions, vehicle weight, and other factors. In general, the longer you drive, the quicker the battery drains. If you plan on driving long distances, consider carrying extra batteries.
You might want to keep one charged while you sleep, and another ready for use during the day. If you don't plan on driving far, you can still benefit from having multiple batteries. For example, if you plan on taking a short trip, you could start out with one battery and add additional ones as needed.
How long does it take to charge an electric UTV?
Charging speeds vary widely depending on the power source. However, on average, you can expect it to take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to fully charge your vehicle.
What to keep in mind when buying an electric UTV
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric ATV:
Do you want a UTV or ATV?
Though both machines offer four wheels, an ATV usually has front and rear suspension systems, while a UTV has no front suspension and often relies on a single wheel in each corner. Both models come with different engines and powertrains, too.
What is the engine strength of the vehicle in question?
The size of the engine doesn’t always tell the whole story about how much power it produces. There are many different types of engines, including those found in lawnmowers, snowblowers, UTVs, motorcycles, cars, trucks, and even boats. It is therefore important to do your research on the engine and its different drive modes.
What features are you looking for?
If you're thinking about buying a UTV, there are plenty of options out there. However, you need to think about why you need it. From the size of the bed to the number of seats, you'll want to make sure you choose one that suits your needs.
If you plan on hauling heavy loads, look for a larger capacity and if you like to tow things behind your vehicle, check out some models that come with a hitch receiver. If you are looking to tackle tough terrain, make sure you get one with enough inches of ground clearance.
Personalize your UTV
Owning a UTV is a big commitment. When you buy one, you become part of a wider ATV/UTV community. Members of this community often emphasize personalization and ensuring that the UTV they purchase meets their personal needs. These needs are aesthetic as well as functional.
As a result, many of them end up purchasing accessories to customize their vehicle. At Perfex Industries, we help customers personalize their ATV. Whether you want wheel spacers to improve your tire game or lift kits to give your vehicle a bigger, more intimidating appearance, we have it all.