A new 2014 Polaris Ranger EV has been delivered to Voltronix USA in Spokane, Wash. for conversion from Lead Acid battery chemistry to Lithium-Ion. This demonstration project is intended to produce an electric powered utility vehicle that will be attractive to orchards, vineyards and other businesses needing small utility vehicles.
The advantages of Li-Ion chemistry over PbA are many. The most telling is weight. As delivered the Ranger EV weighed 1,810 pounds with 720 pounds being the eight deep cycle batteries. The replacement Li-Ion batteries will weigh in at about 240 pounds. Another important consideration is that Li-Ion batteries need no regular maintenance and last about ten years. PbA batteries need monthly water level checks and require vehicle maintenance to counter the corrosive effects of the Hydrogen Sulphide gasses created while charging. If properly maintained Lead Acid batteries usually last between three and four years in normal use.
No discussion of electric vehicles is complete until "range" has been addressed. Plug-In North Central Washington and Voltronix USA completed an absolute range test with measured and controlled conditions on Monday June 16. Our Ranger EV attained 34 miles before battery exhaustion. What will the Li-Ion pack do? If you would like e-mail updates on this project send us your e-mail address.