The price situation for electric all terrain vehicles is similar to that with electric cars. You can probably get a gas powered rig to do the same job for a lot less than an electric rig. It partly depends on just what you want the ATV for. If you want sports type speed and range and donít mind the noiseÖgo gas powered. If you want a quiet, moderate speed workhorse to use locally with low maintenance requirements, go electric.
Chinese made electric ATVs are more and more available. The X-Treme model XA-1000 is a good example. These rigs are priced to compete with small gas powered ATVs. The XA-1000 offers a 60 volt system with 20 AH storage for 1.2 kWh total. This isnít much energy, but the rig is pretty light, and the 60 volts probably pushes the 1,000 watt (1.3 hp) motor pretty well. This rig looks like
fun in the yard for awhile anyway. As with ZAP, people have suggested looking carefully before buying an X-Treme online product.
In contrast, Eco ATV offers a more serious, very high quality looking rig. It has a 72 volt system which will very likely pull the 1,000 lb rating. The Eco ATV has a 7,000 watt (10hp continuous) motor. This ATV is not cheap.
Zap offers up the ZAP Dude at a reasonable looking price. The specs look pretty good, though a 48V system seems just a tad low for the 1,000 pound pulling spec. Reviews have suggested that the buyer check ZAP products well before placing an order.
Doran EV offers an interesting electric all terrain vehicle. It is a low power draw rig (24-36 volts) but well geared for pulling. Doran claims a 4,000 lb towing capacity!
Electric All Terrain Vehicles are a great alternative to gas powered rigs, especially on smaller ranches and farms. Electric ATVs offer good low end torque, but suffer from range limitations. If you are on a few hundred acres or so, you should be able to get around pretty well. A few thousand acres might present a problem if you are pulling a lot of hills or heavy loads all over the place in the winter. Remember that battery powered range is best in warm and worst in cold.
To illustrate; for a 72 volt system with a 50 Amp Hour battery, you have the energy equivalent of 3,600 kWh or just about 1/10th a gallon, or around 12 ounces of 87 octane. Thatís a small soda or beer can of gas in your battery pack.