Gas vs Electric ATV
Not so long ago, it seemed like gas ATVs were the only way to go because electric ATVs just couldn't cut it for serious ATV use, but that isn't true anymore. Electric ATVs are giving gas ATVs a run for their money. Now that things have changed, which one is right for you? This post will help you settle the gas vs electric ATV debate for yourself.
Comparing Gas Vs Electric ATVs
Power and Speed
Electric ATVs can now provide the same amount of power and speed as gas ATVs. They can accelerate faster than gas too. So, if you were instantly saying, "It's gotta be gas," because of performance, reconsider.
Gas ATVs are loud because the combustion process that makes them run makes a lot of noise. For many, the sound is a significant part of the fun of off-roading, but it can cause limitations for others when they want to hunt or see animals, want to ride in areas where noise is prohibited, or just don't like the noise.
Electric ATVs make virtually no noise. There's a slight electric sound that lets you know it's running. So, if you're one of the people who feel that the noise gets in the way, you'll probably love an electric ATV.
Both types of ATVs are sizeable investments and there isn't much difference in their initial cost. Electric ATVs are slightly more expensive than gas ATVs but they also often include other features to sweeten the deal, and charging them costs less than buying the gasoline to run a gas ATV, so the cost of owning an ATV will be noticeably less. Your state may offer a tax credit on electric ATVs too.
It is important to have a routine maintenance schedule for both gas and electric ATVs, and some of the maintenance is the same, but electric ATVs have fewer moving parts so there are fewer things to maintain, repair, or replace. When the battery dies, you can recycle it to get a new battery for less. This makes maintenance easier and less expensive.
Dependability and range
Many people like the dependability of a gas ATV because it's simple and controllable anywhere, just have gas and it runs, provided you've maintained the vehicle well. Electric ATVs do need to be charged and if you are on the trail, where can you charge it at need?
Also, as the charge wears down, the power of the engine lessens. This means you need to do a little calculating when planning trips with your electric ATV, but you also have to plan on bringing extra gas for long trips and have to calculate how much of that they need and how to store excess gas, so the difference is not as great as it may seem.
Charging often takes a number of hours, so you would need to plan that in your routine or riding schedule. With gas, you just fill the ATV up and ride.
Gas powered machines have an 80-100 mile range on a tank of gas while electric ATVs have a 20-40 mile range on a single charge. This is the biggest difference and will need to be considered. If you don't plan on riding your electric ATV more than 20-40 miles on one charge, then you'll probably love it, but if it's important to you to go on longer rides, you'll need a gas ATV.
The concept of enjoying an ATV without polluting the environment you love is an exciting one. Your electric ATV won't pollute the environment and its battery can be recycled, but unless you will be charging your ATV with electricity that comes from solar, wind, or hydro power, you won't be completely free of supporting the fossil fuel industry or the pollution it generates.
Are Electric ATVs the Future?
Electric ATVs won't completely replace gas ATVs, unless they can one day match the range and refilling convenience that you can get with gas vehicles, but they are a very viable and exciting option for many ATV uses.
Hunters and anyone else who needs to ride a quieter vehicle will benefit greatly from an electric vehicle.
Anyone who take shorter trips on their ATV and want to enjoy the cost and/or sustainability benefits should give serious consideration to an electric ATV.
Some farmers and construction workers are finding this combination of cost and ease very convenient for their needs.