While full-size passenger EVs are catching on like wildfire across the USA, small and agile electric ATVs and UTVs are also seeing an upsurge in popularity. UTVs, or utility terrain vehicles, have seen widespread use in recent years. Also known as side-by-sides, UTVs offer extra space, power, and features for outdoor driving or work.
Some owners use them for enjoyable recreation like trail riding, hunting, fishing, or camping. Others support outdoor work like farm or ranch maintenance, checking remote installations or power lines, and more. Electric motorcycles also enable off-road adventure with EV dirt bikes.
However, electric UTVs bring lithium-ion battery power to light four-wheel platforms that are able to venture into places two-wheelers can’t reach. They offer some shelter from the weather, including blazing sun and pouring rain, with canopies and windscreens.
They also include cargo boxes, can mount equipment like snowplows or garden cultivators, and carry two people comfortably. Here are 10 of the leading current and upcoming UTV models for your 2023 work or off-road adventures.
1. Vanderhall Electric Brawley
Looking like a tiny SUV mounted on oversized wheels, the Vanderhall Electric Brawley is a sport-oriented UTV. This fully enclosed EV UTV/ATV seats four passengers in two rows inside a hard-topped, window-equipped cabin. This UTV isn’t suited for hauling firewood or animal feed on the farm, or for hunting. Instead, it’s for conquering trails and having fun adventures.
The Brawley has a unibody construction and four electric motors to drive each of its wheels individually, maximizing torque and horsepower. The amount of power it puts at the driver’s fingertips sets it far apart from most other electric UTVs.
At full throttle, it generates 303 horsepower and 360 ft-lbs of torque. Vanderhall hasn’t revealed its top speed. The vehicle gets 140 miles on a single charge with its standard 40 kWh battery pack. Drivers who upgrade to the optional 60 kWh battery gain 200 miles maximum range.
The Brawley has no towing hitch and no bed box. Instead, its designers made it to be a sleek, stylish, trail-tackling beast. All its features are geared to effective off-roading on steep terrain, deeply rutted trails, or rock crawling. The company fits its 18-inch wheels with massive 35-inch all-terrain tires.
Basic ground clearance is 18 inches, one of the highest clearances available on a UTV. It also features 22 inches of suspension travel to clamber successfully over obstacles. Transparent doors provide the driver with a view of the ground under and around the UTV for difficult technical driving. Four-point seat belts keep occupants safe during these maneuvers.
Predictably for such a high-end, powerful, long-range UTV, the Vanderhall Brawley carries a hefty price. The standard model has a $34,950 base MSRP and adding options can quickly move it close to the $50,000 mark.
2. Polaris Ranger EV
Polaris got into the EV game long before many other UTV manufacturers, first offering its Ranger EV in 2010. A dozen years later the company continues offering its 2022 Ranger EV. A classic workhorse, the Ranger is a mid-level benchmark against which potential buyers can judge other electric UTVs.
It offers a mix of good, though not record-setting, work performance, durability, and affordability many users find appealing. The Ranger EV is a two-seat side-by-side with a roll cage cabin and a bed box for cargo. The vehicle is powered by a 48-volt motor drawing on old-school lead-acid batteries.
The motor is strong enough to generate 30 horsepower and 113 ft-lbs of torque. These levels translate into a 25-mph top speed and a maximum range per charge of 45 miles. A battery life indicator keeps the driver safe from the unpleasant surprise of running out mid-task. Recharging takes 8 to 12 hours.
Polaris makes the Ranger EV capable of hauling 1,000 lbs of payload in its bed box. The rear features a 2-inch standard receiver hitch for trailers, mowers, and the like. The UTV can tow up to 1,500 lbs but does not have a front winch. 10-inch ground clearance and 9-inch rear suspension travel make the Ranger competent on trails and open ground.
3. Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic EV
Though it looks very similar to the basic Ranger EV, the Ranger XP Kinetic is a very different beast in key ways. Polaris ripped out the lead-acid batteries of the standard Ranger and built the new version around lithium-ion batteries.
Despite the similar appearance and dimensions, several features have also received an update. The Ranger XP Kinetic offers 14 inches of ground clearance, up from 11 inches, and seats 3 people in its front bench seat rather than 2.
The 14.9 kWh lithium-ion battery powers up the Kinetic UTV quite a bit. The motor generates 110 horsepower and 140 ft-lbs of torque. As a result, the Kinetic lives up to its name by being one of the fastest electric UTVs at 60 mph.
Cargo bed payload capacity is 1,500 lbs and max towing surges to 2,500 lbs — 1,000 lbs more than the Ranger. Interestingly, the battery doesn’t significantly increase range. It remains at 45 miles on a single charge. Buying the pricier Ultimate trim gives a larger battery, but even this only offers 80 miles of range.
The Kinetic’s builders also added some more features to make it more utilitarian and durable. A full-length skid plate protects the whole underbody, while the UTV itself has a rugged, solid one-piece body. For off-roading, the Kinetic UTV wears a robust bumper and has 29-inch tires.
While the Kinetic improves on the Ranger EV’s capabilities, it carries a price tag to match. The base Premium model costs $25,000 with no options added on, while the upgraded Ultimate is a whopping $30,000.
4. HuntVe Game Changer 4×4 EV UTV
Texas company HuntVe manufactures the electric Game Changer line of UTVs, challenging Polaris with well-built, effective workhorse designs. The UTV runs on an independent suspension system and fairly hefty 25-inch all-terrain tires. The driver can switch back and forth at will between 4×2 and 4×4 depending on the moment’s needs.
The Game Changer runs on dual electric motors, giving it a top speed of 25 mph. It features a 72-volt battery but its range is fairly limited by the standards of a modern electric UTV at 25 miles. The motor develops 38 horsepower, though the company doesn’t supply any torque figures.
Unlike many UTVs, it comes equipped with side doors to give occupants a little more protection. Seats feature seat belts. On top of that, a small digital display provides some basic information on speed, distance, and time driven. A meter shows the remaining charge, again resembling the Ranger EV.
Unusually for a mid-range electric UTV, the HuntVe Game Changer has a power cargo bed. The Ranger EV, a fairly comparable vehicle, has a cargo bed operated by a hand lever instead. The HuntVe UTV’s overall payload capacity is 950 lbs, while its 2-inch receiver hitch lets it tow 1,200 lbs.
The HuntVe Game Changer is a sturdy, functional, American-made electric UTV. Its MSRP is fairly high, with HuntVe setting the base price at $19,985.
5. Nikola NZT
Weird, wonderful, and offbeat designs aren’t lacking in the EV world, and the Nikola NZT UTV is one of the more outside-the-box side-by-sides. The NZT’s fate is uncertain at this point. Nikola has seen serious difficulties and scandals over the past several years.
As a result, the NZT could be “vaporware,” never to actually be seen in a showroom or on a trail. For now, though, Nikola still has a page up on its site indicating the NZT is still an existing near-future project.
The NZT is a fully enclosed four-seater off-highway vehicle (OHV) like the Vanderhall Brawley. In fact, the two concepts resemble each other quite closely. Nikola means to make the NZT with an extremely powerful lithium-ion battery, however, giving it even more muscle than the Brawley.
The UTV is supposed to develop 590 horsepower and 775 ft-lbs of torque. These results would put its power in the same ballpark as some EV pickups. Nikola says its maximum range would be 140 miles. The company even provides a 0-60 time for their UTV – 4 seconds – and says its top speed is 80 mph.
The NZT also wears 35-inch tires for off-road mobility. The entire design is waterproof, with Nikola saying it can sit in over 3 feet of water for 30 minutes without being damaged. Unlike the Brawley, the NZT has a towing hitch and can tow a trailer weighing up to 300 lbs. The connector is a 2” hitch receiver, making the NZT more than just a high-speed trail buggy but a capable hauler, too.
6. Greenworks Commercial U500SB Utility Vehicle 500
Greenworks builds a wide range of lawn and landscaping equipment, including riding mowers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, snow throwers, and the like. It has also turned to making electric UTVs. The U500SB wears Greenworks’ distinctive leaf green and black livery, though a camouflage paint job is also available. Seating two, it has a standard UTV design with a roll cage, roof, and two-part windshield included in the base package.
This compact UTV features a fairly small cargo bed carrying a maximum 330 lb payload. A rear 2-inch trailer hitch provides towing with a 1,250 lb top capacity. One of the available options also includes a 2” front receiver hitch. This can be used to hook up snowplows, trail mowers, cultivators, and other tools or accessories in the forward position.
Zooming along at 27 mph under ideal conditions, the U500SB UTV runs on an 8-kW battery. High-intensity LED headlights provide long-range visibility on the road or trail in low-light conditions. The battery holds enough electricity to give the UTV a 40-mile range between recharges. Plugging the vehicle in brings the charge back to 100% in 7 hours.
The Greenworks U500SB UTV offers moderate utility vehicle performance from a well-known, reliable manufacturer. However, its price is also quite high considering the U500SB’s medium working specs, coming in at a $20,000 base.
7. Intimidator Classic EV UTV
Ruggedness is the characteristic Intimidator appears to be aiming for with its Classic EV, an electric UTV built with hunters in mind. With a base MSRP of just under $20,000, the Classic isn’t at the cheaper end of battery UTVs. However, it does have solid construction suited to rough-and-tumble cross-country driving and hauling.
The vehicle’s roll cage is 1.75” tubular steel safety certified by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association. While the cage protects passengers, a heavy-duty steel skid plate guards the UTV’s underside.
Most UTVs include a skid plate but it is usually made from polymer, not steel. Other parts are made beefier than standard using robust materials to ensure high durability and longevity.
The Intimidator Classic has a higher towing capacity than average, able to haul 2,500 lbs. A standard 2-inch rear receiver hitch enables hooking up trailers, mowers or cultivators, or other accessories. The cargo bed can carry 700 lbs and the UTV’s overall payload capacity is 1,200 lbs.
The 48-volt electric motor generates 30 horsepower and 119 ft-lbs of torque to power the Classic through various tasks. The rear locking differential can be switched on to enable sporty, high-traction trail driving. Intimidator built the Classic to have a 23-mph top speed. The battery holds a 45-mile charge when full. This UTV’s bench seat accommodates three people with three-point safety belts to keep them in place.
8. Hisun Sector E1 UTV
A solid if not unusual middle-of-the-road UTV, the Hisun Sector E1 provides good everyday utility for an affordable price. The vehicle has a $13,000 to $14,000 base price, depending on paint color, and is configured as a standard UTV. It seats two and comes with a windscreen and a roof.
The vehicle’s weighty gel batteries help increase its stability and give it extra traction when towing. The 48-volt battery is enough to give it 27 horsepower and 220 ft-lbs of torque, providing 1,500 lbs towing capacity. The cargo dump bed has a gas assist and carries a 500 lb maximum payload.
Unlike some dump beds which are simple, even flimsy, boxes, Hisun’s dump bed features a metal tailgate. The tailgate is exactly like a smaller version of a pickup tailgate, and folds down into an additional working surface. Hisun’s engineers also outfitted the UTV with a 3,500 lb winch.
The company says the range on a single charge is 45 miles, though users report actual range is generally shorter. The UTV can handle moderate off-road obstacles with 11 inches of ground clearance. Its top speed is 25 mph, with an independent suspension for moving agilely over rough terrain. Charging requires 6 to 10 hours with no faster options.
Owners report the Sector E1 UTV is a good workhorse capable of pulling loads up slopes. If the vehicle starts to lose power on hills, either the battery charge is low or one of the battery cells has gone faulty.
9. ZeroNox Electric Tuatara UTV
A boxy, rugged-looking UTV with almost military styling cues, the Electric Tuatara is a product of California-based ZeroNox. ZeroNox’s engineers created a UTV that resembles a miniature cross between a Jeep and a pickup truck. The vehicle’s cab, which comes standard with a windscreen and steel hard top, seats three people.
The Tuatara features all-steel construction throughout, with an electrophoresis coating to prevent rusting. Electrophoresis is an expensive process but results in an even tougher finish than powder-coated paint. It’s also very resistant to wear and chemicals. It sticks firmly to the metal, preventing most chipping even after impacts.
The Tuatara’s working specs are also impressive. Its fully powered dump bed is 5 feet 3 inches long, nine inches longer than the Rivian R1T EV pickup’s bed. The bed can carry a maximum payload of 1,200 lbs, equaling the Chevy Silverado EV pickup. The Tuatara tows up to 2,200 lbs and comes equipped with a winch able to pull 3,000 lbs.
ZeroNox developed several decently powerful batteries for the Tuatara. The basic battery offers a 50-mile range but upgrading to the 16 kWh “Pro” battery extends the range to 100 miles. The owner can recharge the vehicle in 3.5 hours using a Level 2 charger, or 6 hours on household current. The top speed is 30 mph and the ground clearance is 12 inches.
The Tuatara isn’t a UTV design for everyone, especially in light of its price tag. The UTV costs approximately $40,000, as much as some ICE full-size pickup trucks. But for those in need of a powerful heavy-duty electric UTV, the Tuatara bridges the gap between ATV-like UTVs and very small trucks.
10. Tracker Off-Road EV iS
A basic but functional UTV, the TRACKER OFF ROAD EV iS is out of high-strength welded steel for sturdiness. It’s affordable by electric UTV standards with an MSRP of just under $14,000. Of course, it also lacks some of the amenities of costlier UTVs, including a hard top and a windscreen.
Owners must purchase these extras as a thousand-dollar optional package if they want additional protection from the elements. The Off-Road iS sports bright LED headlights for nighttime illumination, and independent front and rear suspension for cross-country agility.
Ground clearance is 9.5 inches at the axles and 16 inches at the frame. The electric motor generates 38 horsepower. In terms of the work the Off-Road iS can do, this power enables carrying 840 lbs or towing up to 1,000 lbs.
A standard 2-inch receiver hitch gives the Off-Road iS the ability to accept most trailers. It can also pull tow-behind trail mowers, tine cultivators or plows for gardens or small farm fields, and similar accessories. Tracker’s engineers built the iS with regenerative braking to help restore battery power when stopping or going downhill.
Even with this boost, though, the range is the Off-Road iS’ Achilles heel. The battery offers just 16 miles of range on a full charge while requiring 8 to 12 hours to recharge. Considering its short range and fairly low 24.5 mph top speed, the Off-Road iS looks best suited to being a runabout on a single country property or homestead rather than a trail explorer.
Electric UTVs: Pros and Cons
Going green is a big motivator to seek out EV UTVs for lovers of the great outdoors. However, electric UTVs have both pros and cons beyond their eco-friendly power source. Two major advantages of electric UTVs are their quietness and their lack of smell.
With no snarling ICE engine and no gasoline fumes, battery UTVs are well-suited to hunting. There’s far less chance of spooking deer, elk, or antelope gliding through the brush in an odorless, almost silent electric side-by-side. The quiet and lack of smell are also good for enjoying the outdoors’ natural sounds and scents while cruising the trail.
Other benefits of electric UTVs include low maintenance requirements. Like other EVs, they tend to just work thanks to the low number of moving parts. They can be recharged at home rather than needing to run to the gas station or store gasoline in cans.
They’re also pleasurable to ride, with instant electric motor torque and acceleration. Electric UTVs tend to be agile and maneuverable. Depending on the design, the battery’s weight low in the vehicle enhances stability for safer driving on rough ground.
Electric UTVs aren’t without cons, though. Just like electric cars, SUVs, and pickups they’re currently more expensive on average than their gasoline equivalents. Many are also shorter range. While a few have ranges of 100 miles or more, and even up to 150, most get 50 to 60 miles on a charge.
This is somewhat on par with short-range recreational ATVs with a 40-to-100-mile gas tank. But many gasoline UTVs have ranges close to 200 miles on a single tank, and sometimes more.
However, for those willing to embrace electric UTVs’ limitations, they offer a pleasantly quiet, environmentally friendly way to reliably traverse the great outdoors.