Friday, 20 April 2012

Battery Operated Vehicles Gaining on the Gas Guzzlers

Are we hearing the death throes of the internal combustion engine? Will the whine and purr of electric motors replace the muffled roar of gas powered vehicles?
Seems every time we turn around electric ATVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles are sneaking silently up on us, especially as battery technology improves, and the cost of gas jumps over $4 per gallon in some parts of the country.

The plus side of battery operated vehicles

Electrics are not just better for the environment, but today’s battery operated vehicles really do have some distinct advantages:

Lighter and quieter
Electric ATVs and motorcycles run on smaller motors and use lighter batteries, which makes them a lot lighter than their gas-powered counterparts. Electrics are also a lot quieter. So If you're off-roading through a park, you can actually enjoy the peace and quiet as you explore nature.  And while die-hard outdoor enthusiasts may not like your tires ripping through the landscape, they won’t be able to complain about air pollution or noise as you pass by.

Instant torque
Electric vehicles out-accelerate their gas counterparts in the low-end power curve. Electric energy moves through their motors at the speed of light, so there’s no lag time between the twist of the throttle and power to the wheels. Torque is instantly transferred to the drivetrain. In fact, electric ATVs and motorcycles have three times the amount of torque compared to the gas-powered vehicles. Perfectly suited for heavy pulling, hauling or steep climbing.

Low maintenance
Electrics simply have fewer moving parts, which means less repairs, reduced maintenance chores and lower operating costs. An electric ATV or motorcycle needs no oil changes, and you don’t have to replace hoses, filters, or exhaust systems.

No more $4/gallon gas
Finally, no more trips to the gas pump with an electric ATV or motorcycle. Just plug them in to charge the battery and go. Some electric ATVs can run an average of 2.5 hours on a single charge. If you do a lot of desert off-roading, there’s even a solar charger, so you can charge your ATV  with free power from the sun.

Zero pollution
Gas-powered ATVs emit as many pollutants as four cars in one hour (there are no pollution controls on ATVs).  Clearly, the environmental impact of electric ATVs and other battery operated vehicles is next to nothing. It could be argued that the pollution is just pushed up the supply chain to more coal-burning plants, but with electric you have the option of buying your power from additional sources like wind and solar, unlike gas, where petroleum has to burn to get your vehicle moving.

More manufacturers getting juiced on electrics
More manufacturers are getting into the game. Brammo, a top manufacturer of electric motorcycles, makes bikes that can exceed 100mph. Not bad for a motorcycle that doesn’t use a drop of gas. They even make motorcycles designed for racing. Other jumping on the electric off-road bandwagon include Polaris and Barefoot Motors. The recent EV Taiwan & Motorcycle Taiwan exhibition saw a 25% increase in exhibitors, indicating the surge in popularity of electric vehicles. The Hong Kong government is even replacing its gas-powered motorcycles with Brammo’s electric ones.

Yep, electrics are taking off
Battery operated motorcycles, ATVs, and other electric vehicles are seeing an increase in popularity, with new technology creating better-performing vehicles. As fuel prices and environmental concerns increase, the move to electric vehicles will continue to gain more traction.

George Zeed lives in Grants Pass Oregon and works for An avid outdoorsman and environmentalist, he writes about topics related to all kinds of recreational vehicles and accessories. He is also the "go to guy" for information when shopping for items like motorcycle battery chargers and solar panels

1 comment:

  1. Smaller battery fits right just for ATVs, the lighter the weight the lesser is the energy consumption.