Electric Off-Road Utility Vehicles Have Arrived, So Here Are 3 Considerations for e-UTVs

Polaris XP Kinetic Ranger

Utility vehicle owners are always on the go. They need their UTVs to have the ability to zoom across jobsites or large properties and the power to haul loads of dirt or lots of gear. This on-the-go lifestyle is a perfect match for electric UTVs.

“Utility customers value accomplishment and are always looking for ways to maximize their productivity,” says Tanner Blaschka, manager of Ranger marketing for off-road vehicles, at Polaris. “Electric UTVs, like the Ranger XP Kinetic, enable these customers to work more efficiently, giving them the power to do more than ever before. Electric powertrains deliver more horsepower and nearly instant torque, so they are ideal for utility tasks like hauling and towing. They also require less maintenance compared to gas options.”

Curious about an electric UTV? Polaris’ Blaschka breaks down some important considerations.

Capability and Operation

Blaschka advises that operators shouldn’t be afraid to make the switch to electric for fear of losing power or hauling and towing capacity. In fact, he says these electric machines offer similar capabilities as gas variants with the added bonus of a clean and silent ride.

“Benefits such as seeing nature, hearing the birds or being able to talk with your passenger(s) is a huge delight of electrification,” says Blaschka. “The second is the power and torque of the Ranger XP Kinetic. Due to the near instantaneous torque of the electric motor, the vehicle is fun to drive and capable of conquering most utility tasks. The last thing people will notice is the updated display and Ride Command [if equipped] screens displaying EV specific information such as percent of charge, expected range left and amount of regen in the current driving scenario.”

As for power, the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic can haul up to 1,250 lbs and tows 2,500 lbs with 4×4 capability. To compare, the Polaris gas-powered mid-size Pro XD model has a box capacity of 500 lbs and towing capacity of 1,500 lbs while the full-size gas and diesel Pro XD can haul up to 1,250 lbs and tow 2,500 lbs.

Range and Control

Range is a primary consideration when selecting an electric UTV. According to Polaris, the Ranger XP Kinetic Premium trim is equipped with 14.9 kWh of lithium-ion battery capacity and offers an estimated range of up to 45 miles. Its Ultimate trim boasts 29.8 kWh of battery capacity and offers an estimated range of up to 80 miles. Blaschka notes that an electric UTV’s actual range varies based on conditions such as external environment, weather, speed, cargo loads, rates of acceleration, vehicle maintenance and vehicle usage.

When charging is needed, there are convenient options available for owners. The Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic comes standard with a combined Level 1 Level 2 EV charge cord that allows owners to charge from a 120V or 240V outlet. Blaschka says the XP Kinetic’s factory-installed onboard charging rate is 3 kW for the Premium trim and 6 kW for the Ultimate trim. The UTVs can reach a full charge from 0 percent in as fast as 5 hours as equipped.

“With the available accessory onboard charging system, rates can be boosted to 6 kW for Premium and 9 kW for Ultimate for up-to 50 percent faster charge times,” says Blaschka. “A 240V power supply is recommended for the fastest charging and can deliver over four times faster charging than a standard 120V outlet. For customers looking for a 240V solution, Polaris has partnered with Qmerit, experts in EV home charging solutions, so you have an experienced service provider who makes installation quick and convenient.”

Another benefit of electrification is precise vehicle control to accomplish essential tasks.

“Being able to back-up to a trailer, traverse rough terrain or confidently maneuver in tight spaces is important to the utility customer,” says Blaschka.

Less Maintenance

One of the best attributes of electric UTVs is that their amount of maintenance has been significantly reduced compared to gas options. For example, Blaschka points out that the drivetrain on the Ranger XP Kinetic features less moving parts for lower maintenance costs and more uptime for increased productivity.

“There are no engine oil changes, filter replacements, coolant flushes, sparkplugs or clutch maintenance, so UTV customers can maximize their uptime and often save on scheduled maintenance costs,” he says. “The primary maintenance to be performed at the specified intervals are transmission and front drive fluid changes and maintaining wear items such as tires and brakes.”

Pam Kleineke is managing editor of Compact Equipment.