Nikola Powersports Announces Nikola Zero Electric UTV Specs

Nikola Zero electric UTV

Nikola Powersports has released the finalized specs for their Nikola Zero electric UTV.

Nikola Zero electric UTV Nikola Zero electric UTVNikola Powersports, which had previously revealed a prototype electric UTV, has announced the final specifications and design for their Nikola Zero four-passenger UTV. The specs are quite impressive with a 415 hp and 3,675 lbs of torque base option that can be bumped to 555 hp and 4,900 lbs of torque. The company is also touting the vehicle as a potentially street legal ready vehicle. The Nikola Zero has three battery options:  75kWh, 100kWh and 125kWh. The Zero will have a 200 mile range in 4×4 off-road mode with the largest battery pack. According to CEO Trevor Milton,

The Nikola Zero will be the first UTV to come with optional Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), stability control, anti-roll-over, traction control and torque vectoring. Normally these options are reserved for high-end sports cars and not normally found in UTVs. We have worked hard to make these UTVs street legal, and in many states, you may be able to drive the Nikola Zero UTV to work. Once you test drive the Nikola Zero, you will want to trade in your current UTV. No other competitor UTV can match the Nikola Zero’s performance. We are not talking about a few seconds faster than the competition, we are talking about laps faster, with speeds up to 0-60 in 3.9 seconds with four passengers inside.

Key specs of the Nikola Zero include:

  • 4 passenger
  • 400-volt AC Motors
  • On-Demand 4×4 or 2×4 at any speed
  • Baja style hubs and disc brakes with Motor Regenerative Braking
  • Active descent control
  • 20″ of front/rear travel with 3.0″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks
  • Electronic power steering
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc brakes with Triple-Bore Front & Rear Calipers
  • 32″ tires with Method Wide-5 beadlock wheels
  • 14″ of ground clearance
  • 62″ wide and 74″ high
  • 3,500 lbs dry weight
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Digital gauge
  • 10″ and 7″ displays
  • Options
    • Anti-lock braking
    • Street legal package
    • 555 hp
    • 100 kWh and 125 kWh battery packs
    • 4×4 torque vectoring system
    • Anti-roll protection
    • Traction control
    • Front and rear 4,500 lb. winches
    • Factory audio system
    • Windshield
    • Mirrors
    • Cameras

Some additional information about the Zero:

  • The lithium battery pack ranges from 500 to 1,500 lbs depending on the size and is waterproof
  • Each wheel has an electric motor
  • The solar option will provide about 40 miles per day in range
  • There are several charging options providing charging times of anywhere from 3 to 14 hrs to full charge
  • Over-the-air software updating

Nikola Zero pricing starts at $35,000 and you can currently reserve one with a $750 deposit. A dealer ride and drive event is being planned in December 2017 in St. George, Utah. The company expects to start delivering the UTVs sometime in 2018. Nikolamotor.com

Comment:  These are really big battery packs, similar to what Tesla’s use. This raises questions about whether they can really hit that price point and where do they fit the batteries and cooling system for packs that large. On price Tesla’s battery pack is in the range of $190 per kWh from what I have read with the aim to reduce that by 30% for the new Model 3 which would reduce the cost to $135 per kWh. At $135 the cost of a 75 kWh pack is $10,125 and at $190 the cost is $14,250. This is assuming Nikola Motor can match Tesla’s costs which is unlikely considering Tesla is thought to have the lowest battery pack costs in the market and has much higher volumes than Nikola Motor.

I am skeptical about the price point but the technology is certainly available to build such a vehicle. The pricing has to be considered in the context of the high end UTVs that the Nikola Zero will be competing against which are already in the $25-30k range. This segment of the market is certainly driven by product features and performance and a portion of the segment may be willing to pay a sizable premium if the vehicle performs as advertised.

Another issue is whether consumers in this segment want to switch from ICE to electric powered vehicles regardless of performance. The sound of a high-powered engine is part of the fun, is it not?

The street legal aspect of the Nikola Zero could change the value proposition and make the price premium more palatable. From the local ordinances SVR tracks, more and more municipalities are allowing UTVs to be used on local roads. Granted, these are usually low speed roads, but if you can use the vehicle to also make local trips downtown then it becomes more like a second car.

Possibly the biggest issue is if the company can ever get the vehicle to market. There have been plenty of electric vehicle startups that have had impressively designed vehicles but are never put into production. I would like the vehicle to actually make it to dealers. Then we can see if it can disrupt the market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Mahindra To Build UTVs in the US

The Mahindra mPact XTV 1000 L utility vehicle is one of six models previously developed by the company in partnership with Intimidator, Inc.

Mahindra is planning on launching an off-road utility vehicle targeting farmers and hunters, and will build it in the US. In an interview by Barron’s, Mahindra & Mahindra’s CEO Pawan Goenka covered a range of topics including a new manufacturing plant in Detroit. The first product produced by the plant will be off-road utility vehicles.

In April 2015 Mahindra announced a partnership with Intimidator Inc. based in Arkansas to develop and manufacture Mahindra’s current mPact lineup of six UTVs. This latest interview indicates that moving forward they will be developing and manufacturing their UTVs themselves. According to the CEO Mahindra currently has about 540 dealers in the US who sell Mahindra’s tractors. While the brand is not necessarily a household name, it is not an obscure brand either in the farming market.

Comment:  This marks a more serious commitment to the UTV market. While some companies have developed partnerships to add UTVs to their product lineup, they have not had intentions of moving into manufacturing themselves. These partnerships have been a joining of complementary competencies and assets. Usually one company has the distribution channel while the other has the expertise and resources to develop the UTVs. In Mahindra’s case they likely used their partnership with Intimidator to test the UTV market in the US before making a more substantial commitment. They will offer some more competition for companies like Kubota, John Deere, Polaris and even Can Am which has been targeting the farm/hunting market segment lately as well. The investment shows that the UTV market remains highly competitive, but companies still view it as a growth market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

UPS to Use Golf Cars for Residential Deliveries in Kentucky

UPS golf cara

A UPS delivery golf car in use in another state.

The United Parcel Service is planning on using golf cars to deliver packages in residential areas in Kentucky. The state government recently passed a law that will allow the use of golf cars or low speed vehicles for commercial delivery in residential areas.

The plan is to use the vehicles during the peak November to January delivery season, with Louisville as a potential location. The golf car or LSV would be stored in the neighborhood in a portable storage unit, and packages would be delivered to the unit as well. A driver would then deliver packages to the local neighborhood. The vehicles would be modified to carry packages and bear a UPS logo.

Teamsters Local 89 is against the plan because the drivers would be paid less than the traditional truck drivers. UPS confirmed that seasonal workers, who are paid less, will be used. According to the company, they already use golf cars for deliveries in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Learn more:  Bizjournals.com ;  Vehicle in use (youtube)

Comment:  A good example of how LSVs, golf cars and UTVs can be used in niche applications to improve efficiency and lower costs. Why use a full-size delivery truck when a much smaller and possibly electric powered vehicle can be used? I suspect this vehicle application is most efficient during the peak season when package volume is high in certain neighborhoods.

Marc Cesare, Smallehicleresource.com

Polaris Announces 2018 UTVs

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS

The new 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS.

Polaris recently introduced their new UTVs for model year 2018. An updated Ranger XP 1000 priced at $16,299 features a redesigned exterior and interior. Key changes include:

  • Increased hp from 80 to 82
  • New large-ratio clutch and redesigned driveline
  • Redesigned under-hood air intakes and a new clutch cover provide increased air flow for cooler, longer-lasting belt life.
  • Improved driveline geometry is designed to increase efficiency and produce a quieter ride.
  • Increased towing capacity to 2,500 lbs.
  • Stiffer chassis
  • 27″ Maxxis tires with Black Xcelerator 2.0 aluminum wheels
  • New front end, larger headlights, new grill and larger front bumper
  • Integrated Polaris Glacier plow mount
  • Reduced steering ratio and tighter turning radius,
  • New front sway bar
  • Polaris engine braking system is now standard
  • More entry/exit clearance, more legroom and better bottom seat cushions
  • New flip-up passenger seat
2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition

2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition with military graphics.

For the GENERAL line a GENERAL 1000 EPS Limited Edition has been added with custom military-themed graphics on Matte Sagebrush Green automotive-style paint, and cut-and-sew leather-like custom seats. This model also has a:

  • 4,500 lb. Polaris HD Winch
  • Front Bumper
  • Maxxis Coronado Tires
  • Lock & Ride Headache Rack
  • $18,999 MSRP
 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix

The new Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix Edition for 2018.

The RZR line in 2018 will include the RZR XP Turbo Dynamix Edition which features RZR DynamixActive suspension. Dynamix tunes the suspension on the fly with 200 adjustments per second and is integrated with the Polaris Ride Command system. The MSRP for this model is $25,999.

2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The 2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The ACE lineup now includes an all new ACE 570 EPS for $8,999. This model is $500 more than the ACE 570, but features:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Trail premium dual A-arm front suspension with more ground clearance
  • Factory installed quarter doors
  • Mud guards
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Improved seat slider
  • Slightly less weight

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Honda Introduces 2018 Pioneer UTVs

2018 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe

for 2018 Honda has increased pricing slightly on their popular Pioneer UTVs like the Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe shown here.

Honda has introduced their 2018 lineup of UTVs and it looks a lot like their 2017 lineup. There are six variations of the Pioneer 1000 including crew versions and four variations of the Pioneer 700. Honda has increased prices slightly for the 2018 model year with each of the Pioneer 1000 models including crew versions receiving a $300 increase in their MSRP. The Pioneer 1000 lineup price range is now from $14,199 to $21,899. For the Pioneer 700 models the MSRP has been boosted by $200 for each model except for the base model Pioneer 700, which increased only $100. The Pioneer 700 models now range from $10,599 to $13,699. A 2018 version of the entry level Pioneer 500 with a $8,999 MSRP has not been introduced.

Common specifications across the Pioneer 1000 lineup include:

  • 999cc engine
  • 6 speed automatic dual clutch transmission
  • High/low sub-transmission
  • QuickFlip seating for 5-passenger crew versions

Except for the base model the lineup also includes:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Manual shift mode (paddle shift)
  • “Sport” mode

The limited edition models add:

  • I-4WD brake traction control system
  • FOX QS-3 shocks
  • 27″ tires and 14″ aluminum wheels
  • Colored door and bed panels
  • LED head lights
  • Painted bodywork
Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe

The Pioneer 700 lineup also received a small price increase for 2018. The Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe shown in Pearl Orange.

The Pioneer 700 models feature:

  • 675cc, OHV engine
  • 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with Differential lock and  AT/MT modes with paddle shifting on the deluxe models.
  • 7.9″/9.1″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. bed capacity
  • 1.500 lb. towing capacity
  • Tilt bed
  • Quickflip seating for crew versions to seat 2, 3 or 4 persons
  • EPS on the Deluxe models

All 2018 Honda Pioneer models will be available in August 2017.

Learn more:  Powersports.honda.com

Yamaha Adds New Viking UTVs to Lineup for 2018

Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch

The new Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch for 2018.

Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Also new for 2018 is the Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Yamaha has announced the addition of the Viking EPS Ranch and Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition UTVs for model year 2018. The Viking EPS Ranch features a hard sun top, aluminum wheels, over fenders, color-matched interior, underseat storage, comfort-grip steering wheel, center rearview mirror and Ranch Edition badging, and is available in Metallic Sand. Key specs for the 2018 Viking EPS Ranch include:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.8″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $14,199

The six-passenger 2018 Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition features Metallic Sand painted bodywork with a color-matched interior, aluminum wheels, a soft sun top, rearview center mirror, mud flaps, over fenders, underseat storage, a bed grab bar, an aggressive front brush guard and Ranch Edition badging. Except for slightly lower ground clearance this model features many of the same key specs as the Viking EPS Ranch including:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.4″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $15,599

Learn more:  Yamahamotorsports.com

Kawasaki Announces 2018 UTVs

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR

New for 2018 is the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR shown here in Atomic Silver.

Kawasaki recently announced their 2018 line-up of UTVs. One of the key additions is the new Mule Pro-FXR. The Pro-FXR builds on their successful Pro-FX and Pro-FXT models with new styling highlights and recreational features. In the styling department the Mule Pro-FXR  features a “truck like appearance” with painted bodywork, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers and contoured two-tone seats. For recreational riding the FXR is shorter than the other Pro Mules (about 12″ shorter than the FX) and sports a shorter turning radius (14.0 ft. compared to 16.0 ft. for the FX) and higher ground clearance (about 0.5″). Pricing has not been released for the vehicle. Other key features of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR include:

  • 812cc, DOHC, 3-cylinder engine with EFI
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD with rear differential lock
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 10.8″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. steel cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
TeryxLE Matrix Camo Gray

The 2018 Teryx LE in a new color – Matrix Camo Gray.

Teryx4 LE candy Plasma Blue

The Teryx4 LE in Candy Plasma Blue, a new color for LE versions in 2018.

New for 2018, the Teryx LE can be purchased in Candy Plasma Blue or Matrix Camo Gray paint, while the 2018 Teryx4 LE is available in Candy Lime Green, Candy Plasma Blue, and Matrix Camo Gray graphics. It also appears that they lowered prices across the Teryx and Teryx4 models by $1,250 compared to 2017.

For the rest of the lineup in 2018 there appear to be no major changes except for some new MSRP pricing. The 2018 models for the Mule Pro-FX, Pro-FXT and Pro-DX lines all received a small $100 increase in their MSRPs compared to 2017. The Mule SX model lineup maintained the same pricing for the 2018 models as did the 2018 Mule 4000 and 4010 models.  Learn more:  Kawasaki

Can Am Introduces 2018 Side-by-Sides

Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R

The Can Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R is one of the new 2018 models getting a horsepower boost.

Can Am Maverick X3 Turbo

A 120 hp entry level model, the Can Am Maverick X3 Turbo, has been added to the lineup.

can am Maverick X3 Max Turbo

An entry level crew version was added as well, the Maverick X3 Max Turbo.

Can Am introduced their new 2018 side-by-side models including a 172 hp Maverick X3 Turbo R model with a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds. This is a 12% increase in power from the previous 154 hp models. The MSRP for the Turbo R is $22,999. Other models featuring the 172 hp turbocharged engine include the Maverick X3 X DS Turbo R ($24,999) and Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R ($26,899) as well as the MAX/crew versions for all three models ranging in price from $24,999 to $29,399.

In a sign of the competitive nature and some slowing in the side-by-side market, Can Am also introduced entry level models, the Maverick X3 Turbo and the Maverick X3 MAX Turbo priced at $19,999 and $21,999, respectively. Both of these models feature a 120 hp turbocharged engine.

Can Am Defender Max

The Can Am Defender Max is a lower priced crew option for 2018.

Can Am Defender Max XT Cab

The Defender Max XT Cab features some improved off-road capabilities.

Similarly, an entry level crew model was added for the Defender line, the Defender MAX with an HD8 engine option. This model is priced at $12,399 but does not have power steering like the Defender MAX DPS priced at $14,699. Also added to the Defender line for 2018 is a new Defender MAX XT Cab model with the HD10 engine. This model features an enhanced ground clearance of 11″, arched A-arms, larger 220 mm brakes, and a wider 67″ width.

Can Am Commander XT

1000R variations of models like the Can Am Commander XT now feature more horsepower with a 92 hp engine.

For the Commander line the 1000R versions of the Commander DPS, XT, Limited, Mossy Oak Hunting Edition as well as the MAX crew models receive a boost in engine horsepower from 85 hp to 92 hp as well as larger brakes and a wider stance that is increased to 61.2 inches. The price of the entry level Commander 800R has been reduced $1,000 to $11,199.

Learn more:  BRP.com

Can Am is dedicated to rolling out new models on a regular basis. These newest models indicate that the horsepower competition between manufacturers is likely to continue. At the same time, the introduction of lower-priced entry level models show there is a sizable part of the market that is price conscious which manufacturers consider worth pursuing. New entry level models are also another indication of the increased competitiveness in the side-by-side market, which is experiencing both more manufacturers targeting specific market segments, as well as, slower overall market growth compared to just a few years ago. The pie is not growing as fast and there are more mouths to feed.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Taylor-Dunn Introduces G-100 Gas-Powered UTV

Taylor-Dunn G-100

The new Taylor-Dunn G-100 is the first new vehicle in the product line since being acquired by Polaris.

Taylor-Dunn announced the launch of the new G-100 gas-powered off-road utility vehicle co-produced with Polaris. Polaris acquired Taylor-Dunn last year. The G-100 is powered by a Polaris Pro-Star 32 hp engine with electronic fuel injection. The G-100 also features a MacPherson Strut front suspension, dual a-arm independent rear suspension, 9″/10″ of front/rear suspension travel, roof, windshield and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. The G-100 has a 1,000 lb. payload and a 1,500 lb. towing capacity.

The G-100 is basically the Ranger 500 with a 2WD rather than 2WD/4WD drive system, as well as different colored bodywork, slightly different front and a roof and windshield as standard equipment. The following are the specs that the G-100 and the Ranger 500 have in common.

  • 32 hp Pro-Star engine
  • ROPS
  • 1,000 lb payload capacity
  • 1,500 lb towing capacity
  • 500 lb cargo box capacity
  • Same suspension and front/rear suspension travel
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Same dimensions
  • Same digital instrumentation
  • Lock & Ride accessory compatible

The Ranger 500 has 25″ tires compared to 24″ for the G-100 and comes with LED headlights.  Learn more:  Taylor-Dunn

This addition to the Taylor-Dunn line makes a lot of sense in terms of using the same distribution channel to meet customer needs. Many of the customers that would buy the typical Taylor-Dunn vehicles have a diverse fleet of utility vehicles including those with off-road capabilities. For example, a company campus may have a need for burden carriers inside factories, and utility vehicles for outside landscaping, or a sports stadium could have similar needs. I do know a Polaris GEM dealer that once told me he wish he could sell Rangers as he had demand from his customers for off-road UTVs, but he wasn’t a Ranger dealer so he couldn’t sell them.

This does raise the question of how far Polaris can pursue this strategy with Taylor-Dunn. The G-100/Ranger 500 is essentially the bottom of the product line. Will they be rebranding the more capable Ranger models. There is the possibility of creating conflict with some existing Ranger dealers. On the other hand, there is probably not too much customer overlap between Taylor-Dunn and Ranger customers at this point, and many Ranger dealers are more consumer oriented.

If Taylor-Dunn dealers are successful selling the new G-100 UTV it will validate to a certain extent the Polaris approach of developing a portfolio of small, task-oriented vehicles. Particularly for commercial customers like corporations, parks, universities and the like, the ability to satisfy a wide range of their fleet needs through one dealer should be an advantage in the market. The dealer’s selling efficiency should improve with more opportunities for one-stop selling. Textron is the other vehicle manufacturer that is taking this portfolio approach.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Hustler Turf Enters UTV Market with LEVELIFT™ Bed Technology

Hustler Turf MDF LevelLift

The new Hustler Turf MDF LevelLift utility vehicle features a patented bed technology.

The new Hustler Turf MDV utility vehicle.

Hustler Turf, a manufacturer of zero-turn mowers, is entering the utility vehicle market with two models, including one with their patented LevelLift bed technology. LevelLift allows the bed to be lowered to the ground or raised back up for easier loading/unloading of material. The bed can lift up to 750 lbs and can dump material from any point in its arc of motion.

The two models being offered by Hustler Turf are the MDV and MDV LevelLift. MDV stands for Maximum Duty Vehicle and as the words suggest the vehicles are designed for heavy-duty applications on ranches or farms, parks, campuses and industrial locations. Some of the key features common to both models include:

  • Kohler, 1038cc, 23.4 hp diesel engine
  • 2WD/AWD
  • 37 mph top speed
  • Independent front suspension with flex swing arm
  • Floating rear axle
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 25″ wheels
  • 1,650 lb. towing capacity
  • 8″ of ground clearance
  • Power steering

The most significant difference between the two models is that the MDV has a 1,200 lb. cargo box capacity and the MDV LevelLift has the bed technology with a 750 lb. cargo box capacity. The manufacturer’s website does not list any MSRPs for the models but I found vehicle pricing on an Internet listing the MDV MSRP at $15,999 and the MDV LevelLift MSRP at $20,999.

Hustler Turf adds to the list of power and farm equipment manufacturers that have been updating or starting utility vehicle lines over the last several years. While some like Cub Cadet are offering  value priced vehicles with a nice package of features and others are offering utility vehicles to fill out their stable of products, Hustler Turf is providing a vehicle with a unique technology. The significant price premium for the technology in the MDV LevelLift model suggest that it will probably have a relatively limited market appeal. However, it may prove highly useful for specific applications. This is in line with recent trends in the commercial UTV market, where manufacturers are offering pre-configured vehicles or special option packages designed for specific end-use applications.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com