Polaris EV ATV
When free ranging, I cover a lot of territory with the dogs. Often through rough hill trails, across fields with no trails, and through streams and swampy areas. I needed a vehicle that could handle all of these terrains. The first option that came to mind was a ATV. But typical ATV are gas-powered. The noise they make disrupts the tranquility of the pristine areas we roam and makes it difficult for the WooFPak to hear me and for me to keep track of them. Polaris makes an EV version of their popular ATV, and that fit perfect into my fleet of other electric vehicles and solves the sound issue.
I have three of these currently in my fleet. One at three of the five farms I roam. They are an awesome piece of machinery. The electric motors give much more torque than a standard gas engine, are quite and perform very well for my needs. Plus the EV ATV does not have the issues with low muffler and air intakes of their gas counterpart, enabling me to transgress deeper waters with out a problem. The only issues I have had is maintaining the battery system. the cold storage of the EV ATV and long running time has led to sulfation of the batteries. I purchased a 48v desulfation system to recover the battery strength to good results. It has delayed a significant cost in total battery bank replacement. The EV ATV is also heavier than it’s gas counterpart which is a benefit in that I get stuck much less. The few times I do get stuck, I have added a wench to pull me out. In certain modes of operation, the electrical motors can overheat and cause the ATV to go into protective mode. To minimize this, I have also installed a supplemental fan system to cool things off quicker. Funny thing is that the overheating issues happen at slower speeds, I speculate that it is because there is not sufficient airflow for cooling.
Each of my three EV/ATVs are different versions. My earliest two had a recall for the charging system. It was too robust, causing the batteries to degrade prematurely. The recall covered the cost of the replacement charger, but not the batteries. Polaris does not admit that battery damage could have resulted from the faulty charger. But I have found that the two with faulty chargers had damaged batteries, and the one with a good charger did not. In any case, the desulfation process recovered the batteries, so I did not push it. If I had to replace the battery system, the cost is over $2000, therefor proper battery maintenance is critical. We have looked into a lithium conversion for the vehicle. They are available, but the cost is prohibitive and the current batteries perform to my expectations.
These EVs are some of the most versatile fun vehicles I own and I believe they uniquely allow me to roll with my dogs, where they want to go, and open up a whole world of exploration.
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Chrysler Sno Runner
This is one of my few gas-powered vehicles. It is motorcycle styled snowmobile made back in the seventies. It is really fun! I use it at the Big Farm to free range with my dogs in the snow. The history behind these are unclear. They were only made in the early seventies for a couple of years in limited production, sales were in the tens of thousands of units. Parts are difficult to find for it, so I buy them as I am find them to salvage parts. I currently have two working units with a third for parts. I hope to one day modify one for electric use.
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HPC Electric Mountain Bike
Finally, for free ranging on shorter runs, I have added a super fast electric-powered 96-volt HPC mountain bike to my collection. This speed-demon is a factory designed bike customized through an Internet dealer. It can reach speeds of almost 50 miles per hour and, for added excitement, there aren’t any built-in safety features on this racer’s batteries. These lithium batteries’ hand made fabrication make them subject to overcharges and potential fires, so care must be taken to avoid invoking those risks. This bike is aggressive and fun, if used carefully, and it has even found a practical application for the WooFPAK crew. Our camera man can use it to ride ahead on the trail, as he films us approaching on our other bikes. Through properly respecting the various risks of the racer, it has become an excellent addition to our two-wheeled armada.