The popularity of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) for various different applications has been on a rise at a global level.
The vehicles that were initially used largely for recreational purposes at nature parks and hiking trails, are now getting integrated into agricultural operations, shipping yards, and warehouses; among other industrial applications.
Lately, introducing the electric versions of these vehicles have added to their popularity for their capability to operate in different kinds of terrains.
The research team from the mobility vertical at BIS Research published a market study recently on the emerging market trends, opportunities, and challenges around the electric all-terrain vehicles and utility-terrain vehicles.
In our latest podcast, we had the opportunity to speak to the lead analysts from the research team, Dhurbajyoti Nayarayan & Saurabh Bhalerao, to understand their take on this emerging mobility segment.
Here’s what they had to share:
Q. Can you tell us about what electric all-terrain vehicle and utility-terrain vehicle are and their significance?
Dhrubajyoti: An all-terrain vehicle is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.
A utility task vehicle (also called utility terrain vehicles, utility type vehicle, or "side-by-side" vehicle) is a versatile piece of equipment used in various agricultural, construction, and industrial settings.
All-terrain vehicle and utility-terrain vehicle are gaining broader significance in various applications worldwide. The vehicles' ability to easily travel in various terrains has led to their increasing popularity.
These vehicles also found significance in various areas, such as agriculture, shipping yards, and warehouses. With the development of vehicle technology, electric drivetrain adoption has also increased in ATVs and UTVs.
Q. Can you please shed some light on the key drivers for the electric ATV and UTV Market?
Saurabh: Firstly, the low cost of ownership of electric ATVs and UTVs
• Growing environmental concerns and fuel prices are driving the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. With gasoline prices over $2 per gallon in many parts of the U.S., the high cost of ownership due to the fuel prices and maintenance of vehicles has led consumers to increasingly show interest in fuel-efficient vehicles. An electric vehicle offers the potential for sustainable, eco-friendly, and environmentally compatible mobility with no carbon oxide emissions and reduces the dependence on crude oil-based fuels.
Secondly, low noise emissions from electric ATVs and UTVs improve their applicability
• Due to its electric powertrain, electric ATVs and UTVs would be completely noiseless. This might be useful in various situations where unwanted vehicle noise can be eliminated to improve driver comfort. ATVs with internal combustion engines make a lot of noise, especially while they're revving up, which might be a concern for pedestrians in a city. With fully electric ATVs usage, the noise pollution caused by gas ATVs can be removed entirely.
And third would be increasing global awareness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
• The global atmospheric scenario has played an important role in the need for and subsequent sales of electric ATVs and UTVs. Using electric ATVs instead of gas-powered ATVs could eliminate pollution, fuel consumption, and other petrochemical by-products associated with their operation.
Q. So, we are hearing just the positive side of it. Can you mention some challenges being faced by the electric ATV and UTV market?
Dhrubajyoti: Of course! Like any other industry, the electric ATV and UTV market has also been vulnerable to a few factors which slow down its growth.
One is the higher retail prices than comparable internal combustion engine ATVs and UTVs
• Although electric vehicles have fewer components than internal combustion engine variants, the cost of purchasing and integrating adequate battery systems in electric ATVs and UTVs makes them more expensive to develop.
Another challenge is range anxiety & impact of high battery weight on vehicle performance.
• The fear of running out of battery or petrol before reaching a charging/fueling station is known as range anxiety, mostly connected to electric vehicles. There are limitations to battery technology, and it does not allow for endless driving. The charging time for electric ATVs and UTVs is very long, requiring vehicles to be charged for several hours, reducing the appeal of electric ATVs and UTVs to consumers. Also, ATVs and UTVs are considered lightweight vehicles that can easily traverse a number of terrains. Because electric vehicles require big batteries for energy storage, battery weight substantially impacts vehicle performance, and the added weight reduces the efficiency of converting electricity into travel distance.
Q. Can you shed some light on the game-changing developments in the electric ATV and UTV market?
Saurabh: Many things are happening in this space, such as:
• In March 2022, Polaris, a Minnesota-based market leader in Powersports vehicles, presented several electric test vehicles at an event. These vehicles are expected to expand the electric focus of Polaris substantially from purely utility vehicles to more dual-use vehicles and recreational vehicles.
• In January 2022, Emotive, a UK-based company that developed the world's first zero-emission off-highway electric ATV, announced the launch of a new all-terrain vehicle. This ATV is named Scarab, which is claimed to serve various functions in off-highway activities such as fire rescue, agriculture, adventure tourism, and forestry.
Q. Can you mention some of the key trends and technologies currently being used in the electric ATV and UTV market?
Dhrubajyoti: Sure, several key trends and technologies are currently being used in this industry. Battery development, increasing government support, and enhanced infrastructure are a few that pop instantly into my mind right now.
• A key component of electric ATVs and UTVs is their battery. The integration of battery packs in electric ATVs and UTVs have as increased their cost compared to internal combustion engine ATVs and UTVs. As the cost of lithium-ion battery cathodes decreases, the overall cost of electric vehicles will also decrease, making them more attractive to buyers. Battery technology also impacts battery longevity and charging capacity, making the electric vehicle viable for traveling long distances.
• There has also been increasing support from the government for developing more sustainable and emission-free vehicles. Various governments have made guidelines and regulations to curb vehicle emissions and subsidize electric vehicles to increase their adoption.
• Public charging infrastructure availability is key to making electric vehicles a viable option. Enhanced public charging infrastructure will enable vehicle owners to reduce their range anxiety in electric vehicles.
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Q. Can you also mention some of the leading market players in the industry?
Saurabh: The industry is manifesting stupendous growth, which is attributed to the players involved in the Electric All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Utility-Terrain Vehicle (UTV) Market. Polaris, Honda, Club Car, Cfmoto, American Landmaster, and HiSun have majorly adopted partnerships, collaborations, and joint venture strategies. These strategies opted by various industry players are prospering the growth of the Electric All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Utility-Terrain Vehicle (UTV) Market as well as the players.
Those were some great insights related to the electric all-terrain vehicle and utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) market and their applications. We appreciate Dhrubajyoti and Saurabh for giving us their time and providing us with insights into the industry.
Listen to the complete podcast here:
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