Polaris Ranger EV and 400
We’re just back from the 2009 Polaris dealer meeting where Polaris unveiled their plans for the 2010 ATV and UTV model year. Both lineups get some refreshing throughout the line, but the big news comes by way of the Polaris Ranger 400 and its brother the Ranger EV. Both of these units share the same, smaller, two-seat chassis, that fits in the back of a pickup truck, with many of the riding features of their full-sized counterparts: On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive with VersaTrac Turf Mode, Independent Rear Suspension, and high ground clearance.
The Polaris Ranger 400 specifically features the 455cc engine also found in the Sportsman 400 ATV. It’s a robust single-cylinder power plant that is capable of propelling the 1,050 lb UTV down the trail of across the field with surprising spirit. Polaris could have put a 600 sticker on the side of it and we would have believed them; there’s that much get-up-and-go. Despite the smaller operator’s station, the 400 feels comfortable and can easily accommodate larger and taller people. With a cargo capacity of 500 lbs and towing capacity of 1250 lbs, this “mid-sized” Ranger can still get a lot of work done.
The Polaris Ranger EV is the brother to the gas-powered 400. The EV is powered by a 30 hp/48V AC electric motor. The EV features a three range mode selector allowing the operator to select between High, Low, and Max Range. With Max Range engaged the EV is reportedly capable of running 50 miles before it needs a charge. That charge would come courtesy of a standard 110V AC outlet.
We were able to run the EV and honestly our expectations were pretty low. Just how good could an electric Ranger be anyway? Well, pretty good actually. Although it doesn’t have the snap of the 400, the EV is very capable at putting a smile on your face. There is something inherently appealing about pounding down a trail with only a little whine from the electric motor. If it weren’t for the snapping twigs, you might just be able to sneak up on that whitetail you are hunting. What’s most remarkable about the EV is that it gives you the ease of use of a golf cart with the true trail tested all-wheel-drive capability of an off road UTV. At an MSRP of $10,699, it comes at a $2700 premium over its gas burning brother. That’s not a small amount, but it does offer a low hassle and environmentally friendly UTV that is currently un-matched in the industry.