It’s Not Just Cars—Off-Roaders And ATVs To Go Electric Too 

The electric revolution is branching out. Not content to electrify just cars, manufacturers are now looking to introduce a range of electric off-road vehicles including ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and snowmobiles, and charging stations to service them.

In fact, a rural county in the far western reaches of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is now home to a first-of-its-kind off-road trail charging network.

No folks, cars and pickups are not the only form of mobility moving away from gasoline.

If you’ve ever worried about finding a charging station along a rural highway, imagine the range anxiety when you’re riding an electric ATV in the middle of the forest.

With a welcome $700,000 grant from the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Polaris Industries just opened four charging stations in the woods of Ontonagon County.

The network is intended to support 100 miles of scenic, state-designated off-road trails in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Polaris partnered with Texas-based Yotta Energy, a leader in renewable energy storage, to provide the charging hardware.

Yotta’s REV charging station features solar panels and can store up to 120 kWh of energy onsite.

It can connect to the grid or operate completely off-grid, which is why it’s suitable for remote areas — though it can also be used in urban locations.

To promote the shift to electric powersports — and encourage people to try the new charging network — one Polaris Adventures outfitter is even offering electric off-road rentals.

Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures, near Ontonagon, is the first to offer a rental fleet of Polaris’ new electric Ranger XP Kinetic vehicles.

“Polaris Adventures was started with the goal of helping more people experience powersports and discover new ways to enjoy the outdoors, and this launch of our first electric off-road vehicle rental experience,” says Gray Rentz, vice president of Polaris Experience.

The Ranger XP Kinetic, seen here was Polaris’ first electric model introduced in 2023. It’s an off-road utility vehicle typically used for farm or ranch work. But with some thinking outside the box, its potential is limitless.

CARLIST THOUGHTS

This had to happen eventually. What’s offered in electric form in the showrooms for everyday on-road motoring had to one day reach the world of off-road fun. And here it is. Electrifying ATVs and snowmobiles make a ton of sense, especially if there’s a place to recharge them with renewable energy. Let’s hope they can stay price-competitive.

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