Exploring The Benefits Of An Electric UTV

The advantages offered by an electric UTV—quiet operation, no exhaust fumes, reduced maintenance—can be appealing if you don't need top-tier power.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Lately, I’ve been pondering the possibility of adding a new machine to my arsenal of farm equipment: a small UTV for traveling easily to remote regions of the farm.

I’m not looking for a heavy-duty beast with tons of power for hauling supplies and operating implements. These tasks are covered by the farm tractors. Instead, I’m simply looking for a lightweight machine with multiple seats, perfect for carrying a couple of people (and maybe an occasional toolbox or bale of hay) across maintained paths and fields without damaging soft ground like a farm truck might.

This raises an interesting question. Should I opt for a gas-powered UTV or an electric UTV?

Gas or Electric UTV?

It’s easy to assume a gasoline or diesel engine is the way to go for farm equipment. They have the power and torque needed to handle hard work. Refueling is also easy. Just add more gas or diesel and you’re ready to go.

You have to wait for an electric vehicle to recharge before you can resume your work.

But in this case, power isn’t especially important to me. I’m not going to be pushing the UTV to its limits with hard farm chores. And it won’t perform mission-critical work like baling hay.

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I’m certain an electric UTV would handle my needs just fine.

Read more: Baling hay? Check out these 20 items for the task.

Advantages of Electric

As a result, the advantages offered by electric UTVs are highly appealing. For starters, electric UTVs are quiet. This is a big one for me.

Sound Levels

I’ve been impressed with my electric chainsaw because it makes very little noise when cutting. Plus, it’s silent when not actively operating the motor. This stands in stark contrast to my electric chainsaw, which revs loudly when cutting and stays somewhat noisy even when idling.

Noise isn’t necessarily a big deal when a single person is hard at work. But noisy gasoline engines can make it difficult for multiple people to converse over the engine noise. Certainly that’s the case with garden tractors I’ve used. Even when the engine is throttled down, you have to shout (or walk away from the machine) to be clearly heard.

Read more: You should really consider getting an electric chainsaw. 

Low Maintenance

The fact electric vehicles require less maintenance than their gasoline and diesel counterparts is another positive. They have no spark plugs, engine oil, oil filters, etc. to mess with!

No Exhaust

Finally, I should mention electric UTVs don’t emit exhaust. Combined with their quiet nature, this makes electric UTVs ideal for cruising casually around the farm and making frequent stops.

I’m hoping to find a UTV that will allow a couple of people (including people not necessarily up for long walks) to go for pleasant drives across acres of fields and forest trails, checking things out and enjoying the sights and sounds. To this end, a vehicle that sits quietly when parked is more appealing than a gasoline model that idles noisily and puts out exhaust unless you shut it off.

In many cases, the power of a gasoline or diesel engine is necessary for farm equipment. But electric options keep getting better. And the quiet serenity of an electric UTV might be exactly what I’m looking for.

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