ODES Industries Launches 2019 UTV Lineup

ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus

The ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus features a touchscreen and LED lighting.

ODES Industries, self-described as a value UTV brand, recently announced their 2019 UTV lineup as they push for even more growth. According to company statements ODEs Industries has been growing for the last several years including a doubling of sales from 2016 to 2017. The 2019 lineup includes 10 models including the new XForce 2 and XForce 4 models which feature an enclosed cab. Probably, these models are aimed at heavy duty work applications in challenging weather environments. Prices range across the lineup from $9,795 up to $23,495.

ODES Industries Dominator Models

The Dominator line includes the following models:

  • The entry level Dominator X2 ST Model V1 – MSRP $9,795
  • The Dominator X2 ST Model V2 – MSRP $9,995 (Adds Doors, OTR Tires and Matte Black Wheels)
  • The premium level Dominator X2 LT Model V1 – MSRP $13,095
  • The top level Dominator X2 LT Zeus Model V1 – MSRP $14,795 (Adds 7″ Full Touchscreen LCD, Heated Seats)
ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The Dominator X2 ST versions have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine
  • Digital Dash Display
  • Full Roof
  • Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  • Full LED Lighting
  • Electronic Dump Bed
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Door Nets
  • Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  • Towing Hitch
  • 14″ Wheels
  • 26″ Tires
  • Lockable Storage Boxes

The Dominator X2 LT models have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine with 1000cc option for Zeus model
  • Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Digital Dash Display
  •  Full Windshield
  •  Full Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  Heavy Duty Rear Bumper
  •  Full LED Lighting
  •  Electronic Dump Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Rear 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Towing Hitch
  •  15″ Wheels
  •  29″ Tires
  •  Lockable Storage Boxes
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
Also, there are three Dominator X4 models which seat six as a result of stadium style seating. These versions are similar to the two-passenger lineup with a Dominator X4 ST V1($11,295), Dominator X4 LT Zeus V1 ($16,495) and Dominator X4 LT V1 ($14,795).

Sport Model

ODES Industries Ravager LT Zeus

A 1000cc engine powers the sporty Ravager LT Zeus from ODES Industries.

The two-passenger Ravager LT Zeus gives ODES Industries a pure sport model in the lineup. A 1000cc engine powers the Ravager which features a Two Brothers Racing Exhaust, 3M graphics kit, Two Brothers/Dyna Jet Juicebox kit, front winch, 29″ OTR Dirt Master tires and 15″ OTR Matte Black wheels. The company revamped the model for 2019. Ravager LT Zeus features include:

  • 7″ Touchscreen LCD Display
  •  Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Full Windshield / Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Two Brothers Racing Exhaus
  •  Passenger Grab Bar
  •  Cargo Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3500lbs Winch
  •  Rear Towing Hitch
  •  15″ OTR Matte Black Wheels
  •  OTR Dirt Master 29″ Tires
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  3M Graphics Kit
  •  Powder Coated Bars – Yellow or Blue
  •  Two Brothers / Dyna Jet Juicebox Kit

New XForce Models Feature Cabs

ODEs Industries XForce 4

ODES Industries added a cab to their latest offering, the Force 4, which seats six.

Finally, rounding out the lineup are the two newest models from ODES Industries, the XForce 2 priced at $20,995  and the XForce 4 priced at $23,495. The X2 can seat up to three and the X4 up to six. Both feature AC/Heating systems, heated front seats, 10.6″ LCD touch screen and a 1000cc engine. Standard features include new mapping, GoPro integration, front and rear camera options, temperature controls, digital displays, Bluetooth connection for phone and text display and direct screen audio control. The latter feature makes it easier to just ride rather than play with electronics.

  • Integrated Media w/ Bluetooth and USB
  • Onboard GPS Nav with Trail Tracking
  • Front and Rear 640×480 Cameras
  • In Screen Go Pro Integration
  • ODES Ultra LCD Integrated Software
  • Aluminum RollcageAC and Heat System w/ Fan Control
  • Onboard Generator for Power Support
  • Front Glass Window w/ Wiper System
  • Front Window Adjustment, 3 Settings
  • Glass Door Windows w/ Electric up/down
  • Single Row LED Directional Light Bar
  • Full Enclosure System
  • Interior Lighting
  • 3 Captains Chair Seating
  • Heated Driver and Passenger Seats
  • Fold Down Center Seat for Console Storage
  • Folding Aluminum Dump Bed
  • 800LBS Capacity Electric Dump Bed
  • Exterior Rear Working Light
  • Oversized Side Mirrors
  • Aluminum A-Arm Guards
  • 16 Gallon Gas Tank
  • 4500LBS Wireless Winch w/ Nylon Rope
  • Reversible Front to Rear Winch Hitch w/ 2″ Ball
  • Winch wire quick disconnects
  • Snorkeled CVT Air Intake System
  • Exterior Panel Light and Bed Controls
  • LED Front and Rear Lights
  • OTR Dirt Master Tires 28×10-14
  • OTR Steel Wheels
  • Interstate Battery
  • Royal Purple Ice Coolant
  • Stage 4 Made in USA Kevlar CVT Belt
  • Double Wishbone Independent Suspension
  • Ground Clearance of 327mm
  • Aluminum Box 1076x1561x260

Learn more:  Odesindustries.com

SVR’s Take:

ODES Industries is another value brand that appears to be having success offering solid features at a reasonable price. These brands typically have a starting price point in the $9,000 to $10,000 range for their entry level UTV, although some start even lower with fewer features. According to ODES Industries website, they source parts from around the world and partially assemble vehicles in Asia. The remaining assembly appears to be in the US. The company moved assembly from California to Dallas, TX in 2016.

Caterpillar Adds 5-Seat UTVs

Caterpillar CUV105 D

The 5-passenger diesel powered CUV105D is a new addition to the Caterpillar UTV lineup.

Caterpillar’s new 5-passenger CUV85 is gas powered.

Caterpillar recently expanded their utility vehicle lineup with the 5-seat CUV85 and CUV105 D models in order to add a crew-sized offering. The CUV85 is gas powered and the CUV105 D is diesel powered because of the need to meet the diverse fuel options of their target market. The expansion is a follow up to their entry into the UTV market earlier in 2018 with the CUV82 and CUV102 D two-person models. As a result, the lineup now includes four models. Textron is manufacturing the new models under a partnership agreement with Caterpillar.

Key Caterpillar UTV Features

The two latest models have a 1,000 lbs rear cargo bed capacity and can tow up to 2,000 lbs in order to meet the rigors of heavy duty work applications. The CUV85 features a 50 hp, 3-cylinder gas engine with a 45 mph top speed. In contrast, the CUV105 D is powered by a 25 hp, 3-cyclinder diesel engine and has a 25 mph top speed. The CUV85 comes with quarter doors, probably due to the higher vehicle speed. Common features across both models include:

  • 5-passenger capacity
  • 2WD/4WD/Electric Rear Locking Differential
  • CVT transmission
  • 10.5″ of ground clearance
  • Four-wheel independent A-arm suspension with front sway bar
  • Electric assist power steering
  • Single and dual piston disc brakes
  • ROPS
  • 25″ tires on steel wheels
  • Steel cargo bed
  • Digital gauge
  • Halogen headlights
  • Dual LED taillights
  • Adjustable tilt steering
  • Adjustable driver’s seat

Additional Features

Furthermore, Caterpillar marketing material points to specifc features designed for work use including a steel cargo bed, smooth acceleration, clear sight lines and engine braking. Additional features in order to produce quiet and comfortable operation include a design to minimize noise and vibration, ample head, elbow and leg room, and removable passenger seat base. Likewise easy access points facilitates maintenance and advanced diagnostics reduce troubleshooting time.

Learn more:  Constructionequipment.com

SVR’s Take:  Similar to other manufacturers, Caterpillar has expanded their product line with the addition of crew-sized models. In contrast to some models on the market, these are pretty basic vehicles but with solid features which are appropriate for the work applications they are targeting. If Caterpillar is successful with this lineup they will likely continue to introduce new models.

JLG Unveils UTVs for Rental Market

JLG 615G rental market UTV

The new JLG 615G UTV developed by JLG and Textron for the rental market.

JLG 315G UTV

The three person JLG 315G UTV for the construction and event site rental markets.

JLG, a leading manufacturer of telehandlers, booms and aerial work platforms is entering the utility vehicle market, or at least a very specific slice of it. The 3-passenger JLG 315G and six-passenger JLG 615G UTVs were developed for the rental market. The company knows this space well from products like aerial work platforms, which is predominantly a rental market. The UTVs were developed in partnership with Textron Specialized Vehicles and based on an Arctic Cat vehicle platform. (In 2003 JLG had acquired a telehandler business from Textron.)

JLG reasons that they can better serve the rental market since they already have relationships with rental companies, and, therefore, can simplify inventory management and more easily provide parts and service. In addition, the UTVs were designed for the construction and event sites that rental companies serve. Durability, reliability and safety are important equipment requirements for these end-use applications where renters rather than owners can abuse them. Some of the key features designed with this in mind include:

  • Front bumper
  • Boot guards
  • Steel braided cables
  • Skid plates
  • Dupont surlyn hood
  • Beefed up braking system and axles engineered by JLG parent company Oshkosh
  • 1,000 lbs dump bed that can accommodate a full skid
  • 25 gal. under-hood storage
  • Contoured seats with extra shoulder room and individual headrests
  • Generous room for exit/egress

Other specs include:

  • 45 hp, 695cc four-valve, single cylinder gas engine with fuel injection
  • Engine braking system
  • Electric shift-on-the-fly 2/4WD with 4WD Lock
  • Duramatic CVT transmission
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 26” tires
  • 10” of suspension travel
  • 10” of ground clearance
  • 1,500 lbs. towing capacity

In the future diesel versions are expected to be available.

Learn more:  Compactequip.com  and JLG.com

 

SVR’s Take: This seems like a smart way for JLG to enter the UTV market, though I think this product introduction is primarily about the company exploiting their existing distribution channel and relationships than a strong interest in entering the UTV market as a whole. This is a simple add-on to their existing product offerings and Textron is doing the heavy lifting on the product development and manufacturing end. For Textron this is another way to target the commercial segment. They already have partnerships with Caterpillar and Toro via Arctic Cat for this segment. These UTVs is another way to utilize partnerships to expand their distribution channels for commercial markets without having to develop a specific network of commercial dealers. A quick check of the leading rental companies indicate that John Deere, Kubota, Bobcat and Club Car vehicles are currently available in the rental space. Polaris has a partnership with Bobcat to develop utility vehicles. Bobcat already provides a range of equipment to the rental market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Can-Am Launches Maverick Sport UTVs

2019 Can-Am Maverick Sport

The new Maverick Sport UTV lineup from Can-Am targets recreational trail riders.

Can-Am announced the addition of the new 2019 Maverick Sport models to their lineup of UTVs. The 60″ wide vehicles will be available in two packages:  the Maverick Sport, and the Maverick Sport DPS which has two engine options. The lineup targets recreational trail riders. “The new Can-Am Maverick Sport is the best side-by-side vehicle we have ever developed for sporty trail riding,” said Bernard Guy, Senior VP, Global Product Strategy. “With Can-Am ingenuity, awesome Rotax power and incredible handling and comfort, they’re the perfect choice for people who want to tackle off-road adventures and challenges.” The vehicle launch continues Can-Ams four year plan of releasing new models every 6 months.

The base model Maverick Sport features and specs include:

  • 75 hp Rotax 976 cc engine with EFI
  • Quick Response System (QRS) CVT with high airflow ventilation and Electronic Drive Belt Protection Extra
  • Selectable 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok auto-locking front differential
  • Electronic hill descent control
  • 11.5″/12″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • FOX 2.0 Podium shocks
  • 12″ of ground clearance
  • 27″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 12″ Cast aluminum wheels
  • Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers
  • 300 lb cargo box capacity
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Digital multifunction gauge
  • 55W reflectors and LED taillights
  • Front steel bumper
  • Full skid plates
  • Premium half doors
  • Mudguards
  • Adjustable tilt steering
  • Available in White
  • MSRP:  $14,699

The Maverick Sport DPS 1000, available in Can-Am Red, adds dynamic power steering and headlights with unique Can-Am LED signature, and has an MSRP of $16,499.

The Maverick Sport DPS 1000R features a 100 hp engine for an MSRP of $17,999 and is available in Can-Am Red or Sunburst Yellow.

Learn more:  Can-Am.com

SVRs Take:  The Maverick Sport line is essentially replacing Can-Am’s Commander lineup. The Sport line features more horsepower, more suspension travel, a slightly wider stance, significantly longer wheelbase (about 14″), upgraded transmission but only half the cargo box capacity. The Commander line had not been performing as well as the other product lines according to management comments in recent quarterly earnings calls. Expect to see four passenger and special edition Sport models to be added in the future, possibly in 6 months time, if past product line build outs are any indication.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Tropos Motors Unveils Electric Utility Vehicles

Topos Motors ABLE FRV f

The Tropos Motors ABLE FRV fire response vehicle.

Tropos Motors, a distributor of Cenntro Metro low-speed electric vehicles and trucks, is now manufacturing their own vehicles under the ABLE brand. Their first vehicles include the ABLE FRV, a fire response vehicle, and the ABLE EMS, an emergency medical service vehicle. The latter comes in an open or contained configuration.

The ABLE FRV features a 125 gallon skid unit tank, electric rewind Hannay series reel and Scotty Around the Pump class A foam system with 5 gallon foam cell. The electric powertrain includes a 10 kW/13 hp motor and a 72V DC power system with gel lead acid batteries. The rear wheel drive vehicle can put out up to 752 ft. lbs of torque. The ABLE FRV has an adjustable top speed of 25 mph to 35 mph for on road use and 40+ mph top speed off-road. Other specifications include:

  • Power steering
  • Four wheel disc brakes
  • Reinforced ABS bodywork
  • 14″ alloy wheels
  • Halogen headlights and LED signal lights
  • 157 inch turning radius
  • 78″ height that allows access to most parking garages, factories and warehouses
  • Kimtek Firelite Transport Deluxe
  • 9 hp electric start water pump
  • 100 foot Mercedes Boostlite hose
  • 20 foot suction hose
  • Fully enclosed tool box area
  • 1/4 turn ball valves
  • Power Hose Retract
  • AM/FM bluetooth USB stereo
  • Heater/Defroster
  • Back-up camera
Tropos Motors ABLE EMS

The new electric powered ABLE EMS from Tropos Motors.

The ABLE EMS can carry one patient on a full-size, standard ambulance stretcher and one EMS attendant in the bed area. The bed area has a lockable storage box, can accommodate a range of stretcher locking mechanisms and features additional security straps for rugged terrain use. Like the ABLE FRS the electric powertrain includes a 10 kW/13 hp motor and a 72V DC power system with gel lead acid batteries. The rear wheel drive vehicle can put out up to 752 ft. lbs of torque and has a top speed of 25 mph to 35 mph for street legal use or 40+ mph for off-road use. Other specs and features include:

  • 2-person open or enclosed cab
  • Power steering
  • Four wheel disc brakes
  • Reinforced ABS bodywork
  • 14″ alloy wheels
  • Extended rear bumper
  • Halogen headlights and LED signal lights
  • Kimtek MEDLITE Transport
  • 3-position jumper seat with seatbelt
  • Railing stainless grab bars
  • Diamond plate flooring
  • Sliding rear window
  • 2 lbs ABC fire extinguisher
  • 692 lbs payload capacity

The ABLE product line features the Tropos Motors Easy-Swap bed platform system that allows for the customer to switch between different bed packages and customize the vehicle to their specific applications. Easy-Swap bed packages include the:

  • Pickup package with an all aluminum pickup truck style bed with three drop down sides, corrugated flooring and 1,100 lbs payload capacity.
  • Trades package with “Rack-it” brand lumber rack, strap tie downs, aluminum diamond plate flooring, built-in lumber bed side inserts and 1,100 lbs payload capacity.
  • Cargo package with an 123 cubic foot enclosed cargo box with curb side hinged swing door, fully gasketed doors with stainless steel latches and hinges, aluminum diamond plate flooring and 1,100 lbs payload capacity.

Learn more:  Troposmotors.com and PRnewswire.com

U.S. Marines Testing Nikola Electric UTV

Electric Nikola Reckless UTV

The Nikola Reckless UTV on test by the US Marines.

The US Marines are testing modified versions of the Nikola NZT electric UTV. Named the Nikola Reckless UTV after a decorated Korean War military horse, Sgt. Reckless, the vehicle can be outfitted with a range of weaponry including a 7.62mm machine gun, 12.7 mm gun, 40 mm MK19 automatic grenade launcher or Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. The four-person vehicle includes an “an infra-red beam that can be used with night vision and a remote weapons system machine gun that can be controlled by a joystick anywhere in the vehicle. It’s light enough to go on a MV-22 osprey,” according to Andy Christian, Nikola’s Director of Defense. The company invested $500,000 to build four prototypes and the production military model will cost around $85,000.

The consumer version of the Nikola NZT can be configured several different ways depending on the number of motors and the size of the battery pack, which is available in 75Wh, 100Wh and 125 Wh. The most powerful four motor configuration delivers 555 hp and 4,900 ft-lbs of torque. The base model starts at $28,900.  Learn more:  OCRegister.com

SVR’s Take:  Given the high price of the Nikola NZT, Nikola Motors is smart to target the military market that can afford the cost of such a cutting edge vehicle. Electric vehicles fit into the US military’s ongoing efforts to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Special forces in particular already make widespread use of UTVs and ATVs. An electric UTV offers several advantages that could be critical in a combat zone including reduced noise, greater acceleration and reduced maintenance. I would imagine the biggest concerns would be the range of the vehicle, charging time and what options are available for re-charging the vehicle in a combat zone.

This effort puts Nikola Motors in direct competition with Polaris Industries which has a growing defense business that is largely based on military versions of their gas-powered RZR UTVs and their ATVs. It will be interesting to see if this draws any response from Polaris. They offer an electric Ranger and have a host of non-off-road electric vehicles like GEM, Taylor-Dunn and Goupil, but they have not put much emphasis on electric UTVs based on their consumer facing websites and marketing material.

Marc Cesare, SVR

Eli Electric Vehicles Launches Eli Zero NEV

Eli Zero NEV

The new Eli Zero NEV from Eli Electric vehicles is expected to reach market in late 2018.

Eli Electric Vehicles is launching a new NEV, the Eli Zero, with the intention to”…fundamentally shift how people engage with modern communities and urban environments.” The company, which is co-headquartered in Long Beach, CA and Beijing, China where the vehicles are manufactured, is now taking reservations for the Eli Zero. The plan is to deliver the first 100 vehicles by the end of 2018. The first 100 customers reserving a vehicle will receive a discount of $2,200 off the expected MSRP of $9,900 to $10,900. The vehicles are targeting the urban mobility space. The base model is expected to have a 55 mile range and the Plus model with a larger battery will have an 85 mile range. The Eli Zero will be using Samsung 18650 lithium cells in the battery pack. Like all NEVs the top speed is limited to 25 mph. Key features of the Eli Zero include:

  • 2-passenger seating plus cargo area behind the seats
  • AC asynchronous motor
  • 48V system
  • 6.0 kWh or 8.3 kWh battery packs
  • Toyota MCU
  • Vehicle Management System that monitors data, malfunctions and energy optimization
  • High-tensile aluminum frame
  • Doors made from a single sheet of thermoplastic-reinforced tempered glass
  • 877 lb/904 lb curb weight for the Base/Plus models
  • Four wheel disk brakes
  • Regenerative braking
  • Cruise control
  • Wide field of vision from the drivers position
  • 24 ft. turning circle
  • Driver proximity detection system to automatically unlock doors
  • LED signal lighting
  • Sunroof
  • Anti-theft system
  • Press to start
  • Multi-function dashboard control dial and LED dashboard display
  • Bluetooth
  • Radio
  • Heat and AC and Defrost
  • Adjustable driver’s seat

Learn more:  NewAtlas.com and Eli.world.

SVR’s Take:  The Eli Zero appears to be a step above the current NEVs on the market in terms of technology and design. The question is whether that is appealing enough to enough consumers. NEVs have consistently fallen short of market expectations in the consumer segment even though a strong argument can be made for their use based on efficiency, appropriateness for urban mobility, size and impact on the environment. An issue in the urban environment is that if a consumer can only own one car will they make it an NEV limited to low speed roads when they can spend several thousand dollars more and have a more versatile highway capable vehicle.

In gated, summer or other communities with widespread use of lower speed vehicles, NEVs are typically the most expensive option. Other available options include used golf cars, refurbished golf cars and new golf cars which can all be customized to a fairly high degree for the same price as an NEV or be equipped with less and cost significantly less. A large swath of that market elects to own less expensive golf cars. From my experience, NEVs have been most successful in these types communities where local regulations are most restrictive regarding the use of golf cars. Perhaps the design and tech of the Eli Zero will have enough appeal to make it a primary choice in a wider range of communities.

In the urban environment NEVs will more likely have a greater appeal where their is a shared fleet of vehicles. In this situation the consumer isn’t making an ownership choice but a ride choice. Do they really need to ride in a highway capable vehicle for a short intra-city trip or will a NEV, likely for a lower cost, be more than sufficient and better for the environment?

Marc Cesare, SVR

Mahindra Reveals Roxor Turbodiesel UTVs

Mahindra Roxor

The new Mahindra Roxor utility vehicle powered by a 62 hp urbo diesel.

Mahindra Roxor LE

The Mahindra Roxor LE adds features like a winch, soft top, LED light bar and more.

Mahindra, a well-known auto and tractor manufacturer, revealed two new turbodiesel powered utility vehicles, the Roxor and Roxor LE. The 152cc engine puts out 62 hp at 3,200 rpm and 144 ft lbs of torque at 1,400 rpm. The retro styled exterior is reminiscent of a classic Jeep and is married to a boxed steel frame. The Roxor seats two, has a top speed of 45 mph and 9″ of ground clearance. Both models are targeting recreational users. The vehicles are assembled in Mahindra’s Auburn Hills, Michigan plant. Other key specs include:

  • 3,490 lbs towing capacity
  • 349 lbs cargo capacity
  • 5 speed transmission
  • Selectable 2WD/4WD
  • Rigid leaf spring front suspension with stabilizer bar
  • Leaf spring rear suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Hydraulic power steering
  • Halogen headlights
  • Underseat storage
  • Available in Carbon Black, Classic White, Fire Orange or Tahoe Blue
  • MSRP:  $15,499

The Roxor LE adds the following features:

  • Bestop Bikini soft top
  • Warn 8,000 lb. winch
  • HD front bumper with mounting plate and HD battery
  • 40″ KC HiLites Light Bar
  • BF Goodrich KO2 radial off-road tiers
  • MTX AM/FM bluetooth sound bar
  • Side and rearview mirrors
  • ROPS mounted grab handles

The MSRP for this limited edition model is $18,899. Company marketing material indicates a Dune Edition will be coming later in California.

A marketing program to support the new vehicles will be launched this Spring and the vehicles will be available from over 240 Mahindra powersports dealers in the US.

Learn more: Roxoroffroad.com

SVR’s Take:  I think the very Jeep-like look could prove popular, although not everyone may want a diesel powered UTV. The styling really sets the vehicle apart in a market where there are plenty of options and more seem to materialize every day. If it proves popular I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the larger players in the market come out with similar styling.

This is another example of an agricultural equipment company more aggressively moving into the UTV market to take advantage of their existing distribution channel. However, Mahindra appears to be putting more resources in the most by designing and manufacturing the vehicles themselves, and establishing dedicated new facilities in the US.

A quick perusal of their dealer network shows a large number of agricultural and power equipment dealers. The diesel powertrain makes the UTV a natural fit on farms. The company may have difficulty reaching beyond the farm and large area home owner market, which are a primary target given Mahindra’s popularity in the tractor market. It would appear that this vehicle could have wider appeal beyond these segments, but Mahindra may have to be creative in developing dealers or partnerships to expand the reach of their current distribution channel.

Marc Cesare, SVR

 

Cat Introduces Utility Vehicles

Caterpillar CUV102D

The new Cat CUV102D from Caterpillar which partnered with Textron Specialized Vehicles to produce their UTV line.

Caterpillar Cat CUV82

The gas powered Cat CUV82 is the other model in the new product line.

Last month Caterpillar announced that they were partnering with Textron Specialized Vehicles to produce a line of Cat branded utility vehicles. This month two Cat utility vehicles and their specs have been revealed. The CUV82 is a gas powered model and the CUV102D is a diesel powered model.

The CUV82 has a 50 hp, three cylinder engine and a top speed of 45 mph, but can be restricted to 25 mph. The CUV 102D features a 25 hp, 3-cylinder diesel with a top speed of 25 mph. Clearly work vehicles, the CUV82 and CUV102D each have a 1,000 lb. capacity steel cargo bed and a 2,000 lb. towing capacity. The vehicles are designed for all day comfort with ample elbow and legroom and an eye towards reduced vibration and noise. Other key features common to both models include:

  • CVT
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD Lock drive system
  • 10.5″ of ground clearance
  • 25″ tires on steel wheels
  • Four wheel independent suspension with A-Arms front and rear and a front sway bar
  • Dual piston disc brakes
  • Halogen headlights and LED tail lights
  • Electric power assist steering
  • Seating for two
  • ROPS
  • Pre-wiring for accessories
  • Digital instrument gauge
  • Horn

There are already a fair number of accessories available for the vehicles including various bumpers, guards, windshields, roofs, full doors and some lighting options. For work related tasks a front winch, snow plow and electro-hydraulic power dump bed are available.

A quick check of the SVR vehicle database puts these vehicles in the same class as Can Am Defender models, the Cushman Hauler 4×4 Diesel, the Cub Cadet Volunteer and Intimidator Classic models. Learn more: Cat.com

 

Will Electric UTVs Disrupt the Market?

Nikola Zero

A prototype Nikola Zero electric UTV from Nikola Motor on test in Utah.  Photo Credit:  Nikola Motor

Nikola Zero

A shot of the Nikola Zero prototype’s underbelly while rock climbing.  Photo Credit:  Nikola Motor

Fred Lambert of Electrek.co, a news site that focuses on electric vehicles along with solar and wind power, was part of a small group of people that recently had a chance to experience the prototype Nikola Zero electric powered UTV in the challenging terrain around St. George, UT. His experience indicates that the Nikola Zero is not just vaporware with some outstanding specs but an actual UTV moving towards production. More importantly, Lambert’s experience with the Nikola Zero points to the possibility of electric UTVs significantly disrupting the market.

Before further discussing market disruption, lets take a look at the Nikola Zero test drive. The exact specs for the prototype were not provided but Nikola Motor stated that it is fairly close to a production version. Missing from the prototype are body panels. The prototype appeared to meet the the original spec sheet, which promised 555 hp and 4,900 ft-lbs of torque along with 20″ of suspension travel and 14.5″ of ground clearance. The prototype weighed in at around 3,500 lbs, featured 35″ tires, and was outfitted with a 107 kWh battery pack as opposed to the planned high end option of 125 kWh. For comparison, either size provides the UTV with a bigger battery pack than the maximum 100 kWh pack for a Tesla. The prototype’s display screen at the beginning of the test day indicated a 153 mile range at a 92% charge level.

Some highlights from Lambert’s take on the test drive:

  • Roomy 4-passenger vehicle even in the rear seats
  • Top-speed reached was 57 mph limited by terrain but company notes 80 mph is possible
  • Torque of four electric motors and low center of gravity made climbing even up 50% inclines seem effortless
    • One 50% grade was tackled from a standstill where as gas-powered UTVs needed a running start
    • A rock climbing spot was easily conquered by the Nikola Zero while a Can Am UTV and crew were stymied
    • In another difficult spot a Yamaha was easily passed
  • Greatly reduced ride noise compared to a gas UTV
  • Two hours of driving and 1,500 ft. of elevation gain used about one-third of the battery capacity

The company remarked that they are using LG and Samsung batteries in a patented battery pack architecture. They are planning on producing a few hundred units in 2018 and a few thousand in 2019 with a MSRP in the $35,000 range for the 75 kWh battery pack option and $55,000 for the 125 kWh battery pack option. The production version is expected to be launched in December, 2017.

What does this test drive say about how electric UTVs can disrupt the market. One area is performance, especially in the recreational end of the market. The amount of torque and responsiveness of an electric UTV would be very difficult for gas powered vehicles to match. Having motors at each wheel is another advantage as is the lower center of gravity. A gas powered UTV simply cannot be designed this way. Even for the utility segment, while the capability for high speeds would be considered undesirable by many employers, the performance features applied to heavy duty work applications would be welcome.

Performance based disruption is directly tied to expertise in engine design and development. The major UTV manufacturers have invested enormous amounts of money and resources into developing their own engine technology to create more powerful and lighter gas engines as they have engaged in horsepower and torque battles. Electric UTVs have the potential to make that expertise obsolete and demand a focus on batteries, battery pack design and management, and electric motors instead.

Another area of potential disruption, that may be undersold at this point, is the relatively low noise level of electric UTVs. While many riders enjoy the sound of a roaring engine and maybe even consider it integral to the off-road experience, the lower noise levels may prove quite appealing during long hours of riding. The ability to more easily carry on conversations could increase the social aspects of riding. Quieter electric UTVs could potentially open up more areas for riding where noise is a primary land use concern. Again this will be an area that gas powered UTVs will have a hard time competing.

Another potential area of disruption is vehicle reliability. While the chassis, suspension system and many other parts will still be needed for electric UTVs, the electric powertrain eliminates a lot of moving parts and other systems associated with gas engines. A quick perusal of recent UTV recalls indicates that a significant portion of them are related to the gas engine or ancillary system. There is also less maintenance involved with electric powertrains. On the other hand, battery packs will have to demonstrate their reliability.

At this point, a major impediment to this disruptive technology is price. As the anticipated pricing of the Nikola Zero demonstrates, electric UTVs are very expensive machines relative to the current market. A lot of that pricing is tied to the battery pack. Unless battery pricing decreases significantly an electric UTV like the Nikola Zero will only be a niche product targeting the high performance end of the market, not dissimilar to what the original Tesla Roadster was. On the other hand, battery pricing has been dropping significantly, so more affordable but relatively high performance UTVs may not be that far away.

Learn more:  Electrek.co, Nikolamotor.com

Marc Cesare, SmallVehicleResource.com