Electric ATV / UTV Buyer’s Guide for 2018/2019

If you already have an interest in an Electric ATV or UTV, this guide is for you. We won’t debate the merits of gas versus electric power here. What we will do is look at the top offerings of widely available electric all terrain vehicles from major manufacturers.

The first thing you’ll notice is the absence of traditional ATVs and the fact that these top three electric ATV models are UTV side by side style. In fact, two of the models, the Polaris Ranger and Intimidator Classic, are electric conversions of existing UTV models. 

The Textron Prowler has more of a golf car on steroids style. Not surprising since Textron also owns E-Z Go golf cars, which owned Bad Boy Buggies. In fact, most of the electric running system comes from an EZ Go Freedom golf car. 

Electric ATV - UTV Models

Polaris Ranger EV

The Ranger EV is based on the mid-size Ranger chassis. In fact, it’s almost identical to the current mid-size Ranger 500. If you need to operate in confined areas, that can be a big plus. The downside is you only have seating for 2 and the tilting cargo bed is on the smallish side. Although it is rated for 500 lbs.

But for anyone familiar with the smaller Rangers, the most noticeable difference is the extra weight of the electric drivetrain. About 600 lbs. Worth! Most of it is placed fairly low so it doesn’t kill the handling. It does, however, interfere with the rough terrain ability of the Ranger. 

It can deal with some moderately rough terrain, but we wouldn’t make a habit of it. Much like the Prowler EV, the Ranger EV is best suited to moderate work and recreation situations that place a premium on quiet operation.   

Polaris Ranger EV - $11,299

  • Based on 2 seat Ranger
  • 1,500 lb towing - 2 inch receiver
  • 1,000 lb payload
  • 4 wheel ind. Susp.
  • Seats 2
  • On demand AWD w/ turf mode
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • Dump bed 500 lb capacity 
  • 10 inch ground clearance 
  • Hi - lo range direct drive
  • On-board charger
  • 8 12v batteries

Polaris Ranger EV Li-ion - $22,999

  • Same except batteries - 2 LI-ion
  • 2x range up to 50 mile range
  • 25% less weight
  • 3x battery life no maintenance batteries

Polaris Offroad

Textron Offroad Prowler EV

The Prowler EV has an unmistakable golf car look with it’s 2 forward and 2 rearward seating configuration. But it’s also the only model that seats 4. The golf car connection is also present in the electric driveline system. It’s based on the same 72V system found in some EZ Go golf car models.

The Prowler is unique in having both front and rear motors for full time 4 wheel drive. Although it does have a fold out rear storage shelf, it’s better suited to shuffling people around in relative silence. Using the storage shelf means you lose seating for the 2 rear passengers. So it’s an either or proposition. People or cargo, but not both at the same time.

With the Prowler EV being based on a golf car, it’s not best suited for real off road type situations. Smoother dirt trails are handled without much drama, but when the going gets rough, steep, or muddy, the Prowler quickly gets out of it’s comfort zone. 

The Prowler EV is best used as a people hauler in reasonably smooth environments. It would also be fine as a light duty electric ATV platform for work or material handling. 

Textron Prowler EV - $10,499

  • Dedicated EV design
  • Driveline based on EZ Go golf car 
  • Solid rear axle leaf springs
  • 2-72V AC motors placed front and rear
  • 6-12V batteries
  • Full time 4wd w/open diffs.
  • Seats 4 - 2 front 2 facing rear
  • 1,000-lb Towing Capacity payload 840 lbs. 2 inch receiver
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • Fold-Down Cargo Deck 400lb
  • 10 inch ground clearance 
  • External charger

PROWLER EV iS - $13,499

4 wheel ind. Susp., strut type front and rear.

All else the same

Textron Offroad

Intimidator Classic EV

Intimidator is probably the least familiar name here. It was started by one of the co-founders of Bad Boy Mowers, maybe a more recognizable name. Based in Batesville, AR. they were chosen by Mahindra to build their UTVs. Having a surprisingly broad dealer network got them included in this electric ATV guide.

They are the only one here that offers an electrified version of a full size UTV. Based on the Intimidator Classic UTV, the electric version uses a mid mid-mounted motor driving front and rear wheels through push button controlled locking differentials. 

The Classic EV is a larger UTV with seating for 3 and a full size tilting dump bed with a class leading 700 pound rating. The Classic just has a tough look. Everything about it has a beefy, heavy duty look and feel. That’s good because it carries a weight penalty of about 400 pounds over the gas and diesel models. But unlike the Ranger, it seems well equipped to handle it.

The Classic EV comes with much more aggressive tires, heavier duty suspension, and full metal skid plates. Compared to the others, it’s much better equipped to handle rough terrain situations without a problem. 

If you need to carry larger loads, or operate in tougher conditions, The Intimidator Classic EV may be the best choice. It costs a little more than the base Ranger EV and Prowler EV, but you do seem to get more. 

Intimidator Classic Electric - $15,399 

  • Electric is $3,300 option on std Classic model
  • 120 ft. lbs. Torque
  • Electric locking diff. Full 4wd
  • Full size chassis seats 3 adults in front
  • Hi-lo range trans.
  • 4 wheel ind. Susp.
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • 1500 lb Towing - 1200 lb payload - 700 lb bed 2 inch receiver
  • 6 12v batteries - 
  • On-board charger
  • Tilting bed
  • Full metal skid plates
  • 12 inch ground clearance 

Intimidator 4x4 Utility Vehicles

Electric ATV - UTV Conclusion

An electric ATV or UTV is great for approaching hunting areas in silence.

All three of these machines have their pros and cons. Some things they do better than others. With all that considered, we did arrive at some recommendations.

The Textron Prowler EV was the winner for moving people. It was the only model with seating for 4 adults. It would be good for accessing hunting or fishing areas as long as the trails aren't too extreme. It's not so good at other work chores, with the lowest cargo capacity and no tilting dump bed.

The Ranger EV, with seating for 2, isn't a great people hauler, but it is a good workmate. We see it being most useful in work or recreation situations that require good maneuverability in tight spaces. It's also the only model that offers a Li-ion battery option, although at $23K, we don't see many folks going for that.

The Intimidator Classic EV sort of splits the differnce. You can seat 3 adults while still having more cargo capacity than any of the other models here. We think it was also the most rough terrain capable, with it's well protected motor, dual range transmission, and full skid plate protection. It wouldn't be the best choice if you have to operate in very tight spaces.

If you have a different opinion or experience with an electric ATV or UTV, let us know about it in the comment section below.

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