Farmer Jason Thompson is not new to Polaris ATVs having relied on a hard-working, older petrol driven model for farm transport and odd jobbing for many years.
When asked to trial the new Polaris EV Ranger electric powered utility vehicle, Jason was keen to see how an eco-UTV would fit in with both the family’s green beliefs and farming needs.
Predominately an egg producer, Jason farms utilising the power from 200 solar panels on the farm to provide an environmentally friendly relationship between commercial and farming reality.
His customers value the eco-approach to egg production standards and warmed to the idea of an electric powered UTV vehicle being used in the day-to-day duties of stock management and off site delivery.
Jason commented that he was very pleased with the performance of the two seater on demand 2 wd/4wd model.
It was easy to drive, comfortable and very stable - particularly when used to carry eggs across farm terrain.
The quality of build, chassis strength, and ease of maintenance were all impressive as was the detail in design to make the model easy to clean and adaptable.
His wife also commented that the Polaris EV felt safe and reliable to drive with the safety roll cage being a valuable addition over the ATV model.
The Polaris Ranger is powered by a single 48 V high efficiency AC induction motor with a speed limiter to 25 mph.
The 30 to 40 mile operational battery range enabled several days’ work before recharging. Using lower speeds around the smallholding on daily duties enabled longer working hours.
Unexpectedly, the Polaris proved particularly powerful in towing, pulling a Williams 3\4 tonne horse box safely and easily without missing a beat.
Field harrowing was completed in comfort with the MacPherson strut front suspension absorbing field bumps and power steering making turns easy.
Likewise, the 226 kg payload was appreciated with the Lock and Ride cargo system being easily adapted to secure boxes for farm and road safety.
Jason also approved of the cargo bed’s optional extra’s to allow the Ranger to extend its working capabilities with a close-fitting waterproof cover.
All Polaris models include a data tag security system as standard and Jason commented on this thief deterrent being particularly useful.
The two seater electric UTV is too big and heavy to fit in the back of a pickup or small horse box which Jason saw as an added advantage against opportunist thieves.
A personal choice
Polaris is like any world manufacturer delivering products into multiple work applications and the line of ‘standard kit ‘and’ optional extras’ is one that every user wants improving.
Jason found the Polaris Ranger EV very quiet in operation, like all electric powered vehicles, but can be too quiet.
A reversing bleeper would have been a useful addition as would a forward motion white noise or horn to scare his chickens out of the vehicle’s path!
However, the choice of this electric powered eco vehicle comes at a cost; batteries are expected to last 4 to 5 years, with a replacement cost today of £1,000
A diesel powered equivalent vehicle is considerably cheaper to purchase, and with agricultural diesel at 60p per litre, would be a more economical though less green business option.
A powerful alternative
The Polaris Ranger EV stood the test on every challenge during its trial with the Thompson egg farming enterprise.
The two seater model performed well in daylight and night-time duties with the 50 Watt headlight beam providing light work in comfortable, safe and warm working conditions.
Its strong, practical, easy clean design proved value for money against more expensive manufacturers electrically powered models.