What’s that shadowy beast coming around the bend in the trail? The crunch of branches and rocks underfoot is the only sound you hear. Is it a bear? A mountain lion? Or perhaps, a sasquatch? Lucky for you, it’s just an electric UTV. Cruising quietly and without spewing exhaust. The driver waves a friendly hello and then they’re gone again… like a ninja.
Electric UTVs have been around for years at this point, but they’re not exactly mainstream despite some clear advantages. Today we’ll look at the pros and cons along with some of the best options on the market, so you can decide for yourself if a lightning-powered side-by-side is right for you.
There are two big advantages for electric UTVs:
If you want to save gas every time you fuel up, you might want an electric UTV. Even though fossil fuel and electric prices are always in flux, you generally pay about 30% less per mile if your vehicle runs off of electricity. Plus, fueling up with a plug in your garage saves you a trip to the gas station, which is especially handy if you live somewhere rural.
There’s no denying that UTVs are very loud. Depending on the vehicle, we find ourselves shouting over the engine noise just to carry a conversation. An electric UTV cuts out nearly all engine noise, reducing it to nothing but the whirring of gears and spinning shafts.
We know some people love the brap of their engine, but quietude has its place too. You want to make as little noise as possible when you’re out hunting for example. Not to mention, getting work done early in the morning or late at night is easier when you don’t make your neighbors angry.
But there must be some reason why you don’t see everybody jumping on the electric UTV bandwagon, right?
There are few big deal-breakers when it comes to electric UTVs:
Yep, your choice is pretty limited if you’re looking for an electric UTV as of today. And those that are currently available are pretty much all basic working models. It looks like we could reach a tipping point in a few years, where any type of side-by-side you want is available as an all-electric model, but we’re not there yet. Segway and Nikola have both made big promises. If they deliver, we might see an electric revolution. But until then, the options are few.
Range is one of the biggest downsides. Onboard batteries can’t take you as far as a full tank of gas. Once your battery is dead, your left to let it charge for at least a couple of hours (in the best case scenario) before you ride again.
Maintenance can be very expensive. Those big batteries and electric motors are expensive pieces of equipment that not just any mechanic can work on. However, when you take into account the money saved on gas, you generally end up coming out on top in the long run. Plus, you usually don’t have a heap of maintenance to do on one until the machine gets very old.
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and you think an electric UTV is right for you, check out our list of the best electric UTVs.
The Polaris Ranger EV is a popular choice and an all-around performer in the electric UTV realm. It’s not doing anything too fancy, but its 48-volt AC induction motor pumps out 35 HP. It backs that up with tried-and-true Polaris Ranger suspension that gives it 10 inches of ground clearance.
This thing is quite the workhorse, and its advantages shine when you use it to tackle chores on your farm or property. Where it doesn’t quite shine is on longer rides—the Ranger EV is limited to about 45 miles on a full charge.
With an MSRP of $11,899, it’s affordable and is comparable to the $10,199 Ranger 570 with its 44 HP gas-powered engine.
The Hisun Sector E1 is another popular electric UTV. It follows the same mold set by the Ranger, so you can expect a no-frills utility side-by-side experience. Its 48-volt AC induction motor offers a modest 27 HP. You won’t be throwing up any rooster tails, but you’ll enjoy the 42-mile range on your stealth hunt.
The biggest reason people choose the Sector E1 over a Ranger EV is the value proposition. With an MSRP of $11,299, it’s a little cheaper, but it comes fully loaded with a windshield, roof, and winch included.
With a few compromises to power and a few perks included at the base price, it’s a compelling option for someone who’s looking for the basics.
The Tracker Off Road EV is all about versatility. The 72-volt front and rear motors deliver a respectable 38 HP. But what if you don’t need all that power all the time? Use the dash-mounted switch to pop it into Max Range mode when you’re just cruising to extend your battery life. When you’ve got to do some hard work, flip it back to Max Speed.
One of the things we really like about the Tracker Off Road EV is the golf cart-style rear bench. It can accommodate a couple more riders or be folded down for more cargo space.
At just $10,499, it’s the most affordable of the bunch. If you’re looking for an electric UTV that’s great for hauling your family around one weekend and going hunting with your buddies the next, give the Tracker Off Road EV a look.
There’s nothing else quite like an electric UTV for those smooth, silent rides, and there are plenty of choices for you and your family today. As the industry innovates and new, exciting electric models are released, we’ll tell you all about them. The future looks bright, so keep your eyes on SuperATV.com to see what’s coming.