ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

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jdh2550_1
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ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Hi,

I recently vacationed in Alaska (and had a great time!). One of the things I did was to go on a guided ATV tour. It lasted about 30 minutes and covered moderate elevation changes and a fair number of rocky paths. It was great - except for the fact that it used a gas powered ATV (a Bombardier).

So, I was wondering if anyone has experience of electric ATVs?

Extreme do one called the XA 1000 - but I'm wondering if that would be robust enough for the type of terrain I covered and/or rental (ab)use.

The other option would be to convert the existing ATVs to electric. They don't need a particularly high top speed or a large range so a conversion should be quite feasible. I'd imagine using an ETek or similar and probably a 48v or 60v system.

If anyone has experience with electric ATVs or has converted a gas ATV please let me know.

Many thanks,
John H.

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

I recently vacationed in Alaska (and had a great time!). One of the things I did was to go on a guided ATV tour. It lasted about 30 minutes and covered moderate elevation changes and a fair number of rocky paths. It was great - except for the fact that it used a gas powered ATV (a Bombardier).

So, I was wondering if anyone has experience of electric ATVs?

It's an interesting question. Electric ATVs would certainly be quieter and less polluting than ICEs. I come from the "take only photographs leave only footprints" mind set, though, and any 4WD vehicle is going to have a significant impact when used off road. I wonder if the idea of an electric ATV is a contradiction in principle?

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MB-1-E
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

It's an interesting question. Electric ATVs would certainly be quieter and less polluting than ICEs. I come from the "take only photographs leave only footprints" mind set, though, and any 4WD vehicle is going to have a significant impact when used off road. I wonder if the idea of an electric ATV is a contradiction in principle?

Good point, however, I see the use of an ICE ATV as being more of a menace from an air and noise polution standpoint in this case. Since ATVs are being used regardless of their impact, are they not a lesser impact if electric?
I too prefer not seeing any torn up tundra or flora, hopefully users of electric ATVs would stay on designated trails (roads) just as the ICE ATVs should.

I live in a area that has a lot of ATV and dirt bike use. I think the most obnoxious form of pollution that I experience from these vehicles is the noise. This definitely is true (in Winter) of the snowmobiles as well.

One of the reasons that I built the MB-1-E was to tread lightly and quietly while still being able to traverse the back country (I do always follow designated or abandoned back roads so the impact is little if any)
Sure would like to see the ATVs and Snowmobiles go electric but many of the owners of these vehicles seem to want raw power and thrive on the noise and adrenaline rather than the scenic beauty I think.
I prefer riding along while the dogs stretch their legs and enjoying the quiet and beautiful outdoors.
We do scare up a few grouse and startle a deer once and a while but the impact is less, I believe, than with an ICE.

My Thoughts,

Dave

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

ZAP also sells an electric ATV

This reminds me of a story on KQED recently... the guy described himself as a bicyclist, real hard core, probably has spandex and a wedgie seat. Anyway, he described an epiphanette he had while hiking. Many bicyclists complain the parks don't let bicyclists ride bicycles in the parks. But there he was, a bicyclist, enjoying the park, doing so as a hiker. His inspiration was that identifying as only a bicyclist limits what you can do; if you think you can only get around on a bicycle, then you won't be able to get out to the park. But if you identify as a human, who can choose their vehicle to suit the occasion, then you're more flexible.

Dunno what that has to do with ATV's. I agree that if people want to ride a vehicle into the wilderness it would be better as an EV than as a gas burner. ATV's aren't just used for wilderness.. last year I went to a remote island in the Scottish Isles (Iona) and those people tended to ride ATV's around the island. I would think there are remote farming areas where ATV's are used more as work vehicles than purely for tearing up the landscape.

- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

I too prefer not seeing any torn up tundra or flora, hopefully users of electric ATVs would stay on designated trails (roads) just as the ICE ATVs should.

You're right, of course. It always has more to do with the human than the tool. Or more to the point sometimes the human is a tool.

Speaking to your original question I did see some glossies for electric ATVs a couple of years back, but I never saw the real machines get sold. Maybe they were never real or maybe just very low volume. I would think the weight of the batteries plus their relatively low energy density compared with gasoline would make an electric ATV a difficult engineering problem. Way more difficult than a car. On the other hand if the electric ATV used hub motors the torque would be awesome.

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andrew
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Heres a company that sells electric ATVs: http://www.gorillavehicles.com/

There EV album listing: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/253.html

More ATVs listed on EV album: http://www.austinev.org/evalbum/type/ATVU

I don't think its a difficult engineering problem. You can put a lot of batteries in easily, and you don't need to go fast. It would probably be best to keep the speed down to 20-25 to maximize the range. Also the weight of the batteries might help get better traction.

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Hi,

Thanks for everyone's comments. I agree that tearing up the countryside by any means (including hiking off the designated trail) is destructive in certain environments. However, like MB-1E said, ATVs are likely here to stay and so working to replace ICE ones with EV ones seems a worthwhile approach. Also, I'm hoping to "go after" the rental groups and hopefully these businesses are only using designated trails...

The "gorilla" looks kinda ugly and is very expensive ($7000). I also found this one: ATEV28 which looks fantastic - however they don't list a price so I've contacted them.

Yes I agree that a conversion should probably be pretty straightforward and perhaps easier than a standard motorcycle. I'll check out the EV album - I can't believe I forgot to look there!!! The one important difference to a standard conversion will be improved durability for the harsher environment.

BTW, as per my original request, I'm hoping to reach out to someone with direct experience of electric ATVs - i.e. someone who has ridden one and can comment on how well it worked for them. If you know of someone but they don't post on this site - then please pass on my request. Many thanks! :)

John H.
Blue XM-2000
Ann Arbor, MI

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

PJD
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Unless there is some kind of physical handicap, any eco-tour should be walking. One cannot possible be seeing, understanding, and learning about the environment while having to keep one's eye's on the trail from behind the handlebars of an ATV or even a mountain bicycle.

Most ATV riders I know can't identify or name a single tree or bird...

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Thanks for your help. Let me know when you successfully change the world.

John H.
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John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mountain chen
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

yes,we have pure electric power ATV,with double hub motor drive and 10 batteries.
tow_bar.jpgDSC08720.jpg
Some samples already ship to ZAP for testing...ATV3.jpg

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Mountain, How do these compare to X-Treme's XA-1000?

John H.
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Mountain chen
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

I  know  nothing  about  XA1000, but  it  looks  like  a  small  size  ATV  compare  with  my  heavy  duty ATV, our  ATV  is  the  same  size  as  250cc. I  can't  see  the  motor  of  the XA1000, but  its  20AH  battery  will  be  damage  by  peak  100A  very  soon. We  use  10pcs  20AH  battery, current only  80A, XA1000  use  5pc  20AH  batteies, but  100A  current.

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

ZAP offer three ATVs on their site: http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/offroad-ev

I guess that yours is equivalent to the largest one: http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/offroad-ev/zap-heavy-duty-atv

However, I don't think this is the same as the one you show here. Did you supply them their current "heavy duty atv"? Or is your product superior to what they are currently offering?

John H.
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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mountain chen
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

2kw_hub_motor.jpgI think XA1000 use Series motor,not Hub motor as my ATV

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

jdh2550_1,
did you get a response back for the ATEV28?

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

Mountainchen do you know anything about this one?

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Amazing ATV...where is origin of ATEV 28 ?

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Never got a reply back - so I filed it under "too good to be true"...

John H.
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http://www.revevllc.com

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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

RedKing73
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Hi all,

regarding the use of electric atvs to allow the physically disabled to tour eco-sensitive areas, yes this is definitely a viable direction.
In the UK, there's an uprated offroad mobility buggy called the Tramper (www.tramper.co.uk) that has definitely opened up the countryside for those who couldn't access it. And numerous public parks etc in UK have bought one to hire out at affordable prices to those who need one.

I personally subscribe to the view that an atv, ridden gently, causes less damage than human footprints. Delicate riding at slow walking speeds is what matters. Of course, its difficult then to control a high torque machine without causing damage. And the torque is needed.

However......

Re quality (durable) electric atvs that might compare to a Honda in terms of build quality, the only really viable options are:-

1. Gorilla Vehicles (www.gorillavehicles.com, although its very very powerful, its not recommended for extreme offroad by Rick at Gorillas, but for utility work, it would be very hard to beat).

2. GEO atvs from Italy. This is the only road-legal (homologated for EU use anyway) electric atv being manufactured worldwide and has a build quality to match. www.geoquad.it. I have contact with them so by all means contact me and I can put you in touch. They are seeking quality dealers in the States. They're not cheap, but neither is a Honda quad. If you look at geoatv.it, you will see two smaller quads that are similar to those of ZAP. Most likely from Angell. See www.usangell.com for similar.

The previous Heavy duty atz was supplied by Erato in small numbers and then discontinued. The current samples that have been forwarded? It would be nice to see ZAP have the confidence to put them on their website. The pictures supplied show some serious basic flaws. The battery area is not covered nor are many key electric components protected from underneath wheel splashes, so how can the vehicle be properly employed as a quad if its electrics are exposed. GEO in Italy have to manufacture covers to 'hide' the battery areas of these angell atvs (see their Toro). A petrol bike can have its engine exposed. An electric can't !!

The ATEV has been bandied around on EVTworld's website for 2 years now and no, they won't be replying to your email !! Never did to mine.

Nice to see a manufacturer like Erato braving the forums in order to address their vehicle issues, hopefully not to give advice on competitors' products!

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

I meant to add that Rick Doran of Gorilla Vehicles has successfully sold the Gorilla quad into the 'US Engineers Corp', not sure of proper title, but you know the guys I mean. I seriously considered importing the Gorilla but the pricepoint was an issue. Back then. Now its not. You're going to have to pay 6-9k for a bells and whistles electric utility quad IMHO. Now I would only seriously choose between the Gorilla for hardcore towing duties or the GEO Country for serious offroad quad work (plus its road-legal). I have ridden other electric quads (a lot of miles off-road and very very enjoyable :-) but I don't think they've been properly suited. Here's why and its mostly design and QC stuff, easily remedied: - Battery arrays not secured for offroad, wiring and electrics seriously exposed, insufficient torque, too much top-end. 30mph offroad is too much if you can't climb 20 degrees in my opinion. But check out the sophisticated electronics on a GEO Country and you'll be convinced it can perform on and offroad. Look here, they're launching Stateside very shortly.

Also contact Rick Doran at Gorilla www.gorillavehicles.com and ask him to put you in contact with his loyal and very happy customers. He goes way back in the EV industry and his vehicles are proof of that. That machine will tow 4000lbs on good ground. Its like an Electrac, its not a toy like the XA quoted (I don't mean that disrespectfully but to place it in clear context) and if ridden carefully offroad, it is excellent too. But its 2WD, so care is needed when pulling a load.

Just my opinion. But I've done the miles :-)

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

Thanks for the input - I've put these plans on hold.

I did here back from the ATEV-28 guys - but I never followed up as my plans here are on hold. Their sales manager said "they're gonna launch real soon now" (where have I heard that before!)

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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

RedKing73,
I'm not much of a proponent of conversions after so much work on my bike conversion, but I'm thinking that an ATV conversion is not a half bad idea if you really need 4wd and a lot of power. For the components you are looking at $2-3k, plus the cost of a non-working gas quad. If you are the DIY type this might be a better deal, and the components you can buy for $3k would offer much better performance than whats offered on the market in complete packages.

Though I don't recommend this if you don't really like to work with tools and make things. I found that out the hard way. I'm never going to do a conversion again myself, except I might do small much less time consuming ev projects like an e-bike or e-scooter, or modding an existing setup.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
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RedKing73
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Re: ATVs for "Eco Tourist" use....

True Andrew, thanks,

I've considered that route myself and, yep, you could build it for cheaper than you'd buy it and get what you wanted. But, you've gotta have electro hands. Mine aren't great!

RedKing73
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Erato ATV samples with multiple quality control errors

The previous Heavy duty atz was supplied by Erato in small numbers and then discontinued. The current samples that have been forwarded? It would be nice to see ZAP have the confidence to put them on their website. The pictures supplied show some serious basic flaws. The battery area is not covered nor are many key electric components protected from underneath wheel splashes, so how can the vehicle be properly employed as a quad if its electrics are exposed. GEO in Italy have to manufacture covers to 'hide' the battery areas of these angell atvs (see their Toro). A petrol bike can have its engine exposed. An electric can't !!

Well I've now a technician's update on the Erato quad that I imported. The very same model as those posted above by Mountain Chen. I would sincerely hope that Zap's atv samples are more finished than the ones I imported. I must say it gives one a worrying feeling about the long-term investment in an electric moped or quad from this supplier when basic wiring is so bad and some components have failed quite early. We had to do extensive rewiring, also without an available wiring diagram as none was ever supplied despite requests. Get this: -The throttle was wired directly so basically if you physically cut off the instrument panel, the quad still goes forward when you turn the throttle!! This may have been because a dodgy switch component was being used and the only way around it (apart from simply using a new switch!!) was to wire this switch as basically reversing the direction of the motor. So it then had 2 forward and one reverse position i.e. no neutral position (and p.s. no handbrake). So someone not used to an electric atv, not hearing any sound obviously, gets on the right-hand-side by grabbing the throttle and accidentally drives over themselves!! How stupid is that, to let a sample out of your "quality control" department in that condition? Unless ZAP have asked for numerous changes to whats on show in the picture above, then these are still half-finished prototypes and unsuitable for showrooms. I imagine they have?? They surely wouldn't attempt to sell these atvs as they currently are specified, would they? The original heavy duty 'atz' was shelved also just under 2 years ago .......because ( I presume) it was basically not suitable as a replacement for a real work quad. Not waterproof, no way of attaching productivity implements, incomplete assembly). Which is exaclty the view of anyone I've shown it to. More of a glorified toy or transport quad (when its dry; and don't go over rough ground because the batteries are not secured into their racks). It looks like the www.Barefootmotors.com quad and the www.geoquad.it plus Gorilla Vehicles) are now the real options in this niche.

Maybe they have a separate factory for their mopeds and this sloppiness doesn't affect that side of the chinese factory's business. One would certainly hope so. Its very frustrating when a vehicle can't do the basic job its designed for. That would be like exporting a moped that would have registration problems in USA and EU wouldn't it? Stupid or what? What company would be so daft?

RedKing73
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Re: Erato ATV samples with multiple quality control errors

Hi, I saw this nice video turn up in Google alerts. From 6x6 atv forum. EV versus ICE atv. Looks like a great conversion. Not much of a scientific test though!

Farm Quad. Strong electric power! Silent (no fumes) & reliable, good in enclosed space. 4kw=250cc. Strong racks

http://dsc.discovery.com/video/player.html?bctid=1522827923

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