Eco Electric ATV: Can It Actually Be Green?

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My original title for this post was going to be "Just what we needed dept: an electric ATV" when editor Meg pointed out that ATVs are used by many as working tools around farms and in the forests, and that they are not all noisy smelly horrible things that tear up the countryside and can be big annoyance. And she is right; the Eco Electric ATV is described as "dream come true for farmers and property owners, its direct drive electric motor has the power to pull farming equipment, pull a trailer full of wood, fix fence posts, grade a horse arena, use inside barns and arenas without disturbing animals."

It is a quiet, emission free, not so horrible thing.


The Electric Vehicle System (EVS) people go out of their way to make it sound benign as a recreational vehicle too:

Go on an Eco ATV moose tour, foliage ride in fall, or just ride in the woods with friends without disturbing the animals and environment around you. No more complaints from your neighbors about noise, The E-Force is power packed, quiet, and will reduce your hydrocarbon footprint!

But if you wanted to tear up the terrain, you could. It has three times the torque of a gas SUV (a big benefit of electric motors) and will run for eight hours on a charge. It is built in Ellicottville, New York, where new owners Bill Northrup and Philip Kurlander "saw great potential to help stimulate a depressed manufacturing work force."- no doubt we will see a few of these running around the ski hills.


Motor Type 72 Volt Brush DC Motor
Power 22 kW (7 kW continuous)
28 hp (10 hp continuous)
Batteries 6 x 12V-50AH SLA AGM
RPM Range 700-5,000 rpm
Torque 374 ft-lbs of torque at wheel (70 ft-lb at motor)

It is quiet, non-polluting, is made in America and could be very useful. Its marketing is restrained and doesn't show a single puddle jumper. Perhaps an ATV can be green after all.

Eco Electric ATV from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

I interviewed the sales rep from JR's Outdoor Store, who says there are a lot of advantages; you can charge it up in six hours and run for eight, on about 40 cents worth of electricity. Maintenance is also a lot cheaper.