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Electric UTV/ATV

Discussion in 'General EV Discussion' started by jmacneil, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. jmacneil

    jmacneil New Member

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    At present I have two main vehicles - a Ford Fiesta Econetic and a Panda Cross. Both small diesels.
    I live in a village in the Scottish Borders and commute daily into Edinburgh, and the village I live in is a bit notorious for being frequently snow-bound when we have a cold "wintery" winter, and the Panda is my "get through the snow" car! I'd like to go fully electric. Thinking of a Leaf now to replace the Fiesta, then a Tesla Model 3 in a couple of years to replace the Panda Cross.
    However! The Panda is also my "substitute ATV", and I use it for towing a harrow, roller and spreader around the field. If I replace the Panda with a Model 3, I'll need an ATV or UTV to do "field duty" and tow implements. I'd be reluctant to get an ICE Quad, so that leaves options such as Eco Charger - which looks great for my purposes, but damned expensive. And I'm not convinced of the longevity of the Lead-Acid batteries. I've found a number of Chinese firms making electric UTVs, but again, they all seem to be Lead-Acid. There's the Polaris Ranger Li-Ion but that's just plain ridiculous on the price front.

    So, after all this rambling, the heart of the matter - does anyone know of any reasonably priced Electic ATVs or UTVs on the horizon with a not-lead-acid battery? Doesn't have to be available now - though it might help to stand a chance of getting one a couple of years old in 2019 if there were something that was.

    Cheers all.
     
  2. BarryP

    BarryP Well-Known Member

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    Why the problem with lead acid batteries? They worked well in milk floats for many years, with heavy loads stop start motoring and speeds up to 30 mph. and daily charging. Have you seen the numbers of L/A powered small load lugger vehicles on the roads of China?
    There are a moderate number of load lugger EVs available, does it have to be an ATV to replace a Panda?
     
  3. Tahirs

    Tahirs Active Member

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    Location:
    Billericay, Essex
    EV:
    Audi A3 e tron
  4. Dozer

    Dozer Member

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    Take a Google for Fully Charged Quad Bike. Bob Llewellyn did a review on it.
     
  5. Grumpy-b

    Grumpy-b Well-Known Member

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    EV:
    Citroen Berlingo Electriq
    I have converted on Polaris Ranger EV to Lithium, as part of its being changed to a Film camera tracking vehicle, Heavily modified. I have just started on the conversion of a standard 2014/15 Ranger to lifepo4, and another is due in Feb/ march. By changing to Lithium the weight is reduced by over 200kg. So for me its now becoming a more standardised conversion within the standard body. The first one had none of its original body remaining after conversion.
    Lead acids as used in these will last about two years on a well used vehicle but less if not properly maintained. Light use and constant charging will shorten the pack life as the cells are constantly over charged and constantly evaporate the electrolyte, this also has the batteries sweating which then rots out the steel supports and under frame. The lifepo4 works so much better. The lead acids have such a voltage drop and have to have a big battery to cope with the lack of discharge rate of the lead cells. (Trojans). Hence the hight weight of cells. Not so the lifepo4.
    I will post some photos of the Ranger conversion over the next two weeks as it comes together.
    Other option is a conversion of the Panda 4x4 always wanted to do one, and actually fairly straight forward.
    If interested do email me on the address below.
     
  6. jmacneil

    jmacneil New Member

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    As noted by Grumpy, the Lead-Acid are far from ideal due to the various issues he noted (the batteries need to be babied along and still likely have a fairly short lifespan, tend to rot the frame, etc). They would have plenty of power for what I need, and the weight wouldn't even necessarily be a disadvantage, but LiFePO are clearly vastly superior. And I keep hearing that Li-Ion batteries are getting vastly cheaper - so surely it's just a matter of time until they start being used for small vehicles such as Quads/UTVs? But the price Polaris are asking is currently just plain bonkers (~$22k).
    Grumpy - interesting idea to keep & convert the Panda! Beyond my technical expertise, probably (I'm more of an IT spod, who can just about wield a soldering iron - but no experience of welding, for example). Converting a not-too-old ICE Quad with some pre-packaged LiFePO4 batteries might be an interesting idea though.
    Thanks for the responses so far.
     
  7. BarryP

    BarryP Well-Known Member

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    Rather than going for three vehicles a thought:- A LEAF for the daily commute, A Mitsubishi PHEV for the snowy days and also the tractor work? If I read the spec sheets correctly you can fit a tow bar on the PHEV.

    New or second hand obviously depends on finances, but since an EV/ATV is so expensive it could work out. How long is the commute, could you EV to work and back in the PHEV and thus only need one car?
     
  8. jmacneil

    jmacneil New Member

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    The two cars are because the wife and I have to travel separately at least a couple of days a week. The Mitsubishi is probably too new/too expensive and a bit on the big side for "ATV" work. The Panda Cross is just about small enough to get away with, hence why I don't have a quad at the moment.

    And besides, I *really* want a Model 3 in a couple of years time when I have an endowment maturing that should pay a good chunk of it ;). If it really comes to it I could probably just get a petrol Quad for field care duties - but given that electric would be ideal (don't need a lot of range, and no clutch would be an advantage), I'm just keen to see if anyone has found any reasonably priced electric ATVs. As noted, it's not needed now - but in a couple of years when I intend to replace the Panda with the Tesla Model 3.
     
  9. Phooby

    Phooby Well-Known Member

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    EV:
    Tesla Model S
    Get one of the eco charger ones with lead batteries; use it for a few years until the batteries have expired and replace them with off the shelf lithium used in ev conversions. Have a look at DIY Electric Car Forums - Electric Vehicle Build and Conversion Community where there may be similar conversions or speak to @Mike Schooling. A battery change would be much easier than a full conversion; you may even be able to get eco charger to sell you one without the lead as they seem to be a small build to order type company.
     
    Mike Schooling likes this.
  10. jmacneil

    jmacneil New Member

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    As noted in the original comment though - much as I like the Eco Charger, ~£9K+VAT is just *way* too much when I don't use it enough to make back the outlay on fuel and maintenance savings. If I ran a sheep farm and used it every day (and it was an allowable business expense) I would go for it.
    Yes, I had considered one, with an eventual battery swap, but was horrified at the price.
     
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