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Polaris UTV EV conversion

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Hello again from the new guy...

Moving my build and design from the introduction over here. I was given a 2005 Polaris Ranger Crew with a blown motor that had been sitting for several years. I had been looking at replacement motors for it for a while which are between $3-5k depending on quality and motor size (500 current, but could go 700 or 900) plus probably another $2k in misc. parts. It got me thinking about making it an EV. Watching what feels like hundreds of hours of youtube videos and reading countless testimonials (which should have discouraged me if I had any sense) have made me really push this idea forward. My original thought was to go cheap and use a forklift motor and scrounge around for a battery pack and make sure it worked. Not wanting to waste time I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and go big(ger).

Scenario 1:
  • ME1616 Brushless 20 kW - 55 kW Liquid-Cooled IPM Motor 48-120V ($1100)
  • Sevcon Gen4 80v 550a ($300-800 on ebay)
  • 2 LG 36v 7.9kWh 10s Lithium Ion in series ($790 x2)
  • BMS, DC to DC, charger, throttle, etc. (~$2000)
All in all looking at right around $6k for the conversion.

Scenario 2:
This is probably in the $7k range, but the misc. bits and pieces the kit includes probably bumps up the scenario 1 costs too...

So it comes down to either an EV conversion or ICE refit, but I think the cool factor of the EV pushes me over the edge. I am sure I am overlooking a lot and I welcome any thoughts and criticisms. Please do you worst to poke holes in my dream.
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What are your performance goals?
...acceleration?
...top speed?
...range?

FYI:
I built my ElMoto for under $2,000.00 ;)

It is motivated by a 8kW PM motor ~$600.00
...controlled by a 550A Kelly Controller ~$350.00
...powered by (2) 48V 50AH Chevy Volt Lithium Modules ~$400.00 ea.
...& maybe ~$250.00 for a contactor, a circuit breaker & cables etc.

The acceleration is very "peppy"
...the top speed is ~50MPH
...& my range is ~45 miles

I pass gas stations with a "big 'ol grin"
...& sometimes "a finger" (y) (nope, not that one)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The glaring difference in our builds is probably 1500 pounds... but I get your point.

My performance goals are range above everything. For 80% of its life it will be a glorified golf cart for the family. The top speed limit in my area is 35mph, but I will admit speed and acceleration are too much fun to pass up. I'd like a top speed somewhere around 60mph and a range of at least 50 miles, but I think with the generally slow speeds around here I should be able to accomplish that easily. It is also still a work horse so I want basically what it was capable of prior...... yes I can get all that in a nice tidy package with a rebuilt motor, but that's not fun and this was a free starting point and I love a project. Honestly, I'll probably drive this for a bit and sell it and then build another.... and another.

I've built and restored a few Jeeps in my life and I'm quite handy. I need something to tinker with......
 

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The glaring difference in our builds is probably 1500 pounds... but I get your point.

My performance goals are range above everything. For 80% of its life it will be a glorified golf cart for the family. The top speed limit in my area is 35mph, but I will admit speed and acceleration are too much fun to pass up. I'd like a top speed somewhere around 60mph and a range of at least 50 miles, but I think with the generally slow speeds around here I should be able to accomplish that easily. It is also still a work horse so I want basically what it was capable of prior...... yes I can get all that in a nice tidy package with a rebuilt motor, but that's not fun and this was a free starting point and I love a project. Honestly, I'll probably drive this for a bit and sell it and then build another.... and another.

I've built and restored a few Jeeps in my life and I'm quite handy. I need something to tinker with......
"I'll probably drive this for a bit and sell it and then build another.... and another."
&
"I need something to tinker with..."

Oh, trust me, I know ;)

Here is my Hell-raiser kart
 

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Your Ranger is not that different to my General, at least in terms of construction.

There are not many people who have converted one (that I've found), surprisingly. However, the layout of the drivetrain makes it fairly straightforward. I've just taken out the ICE and put the motor in the same location.

I've used a Hyper9 motor and one of the others I've found used an AC50. Either of these should give decent low speed torque and a top speed just over 60. I found my general started to get a bit sketchy / scary above 60!

One of the other posters in my thread used a ME1616, but found the top speed was only about 40mph. Your other option, a PMAC motor, may be better? The max RPM is only 6500 at 96V - which is about 40mph with a 1:1 ratio between the motor & gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your Ranger is not that different to my General, at least in terms of construction.
I'm already following your thread with eager anticipation...

James Biggar on youtube has a buggy built around the ME1616 that I have been watching as well. Seemed to be able to really take off, and had a top speed of around 75mph. Which is more than enough. I have no business, or place to ride for that matter, a UTV that goes 100+ mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looking at a few options (in order of which I'm leaning) for batteries from battery hookup. Most of these options will need to be doubled for range, but should get me started nicely as I was mainly aiming for minimum voltage.
  • EV 24s 88.8v 37ah 3.3kWh - 2 (in parallel) [$800 $750... price dropped since yesterday]
    • 88.8v 74ah 6.6 kWh
    • 9" x 14" x 5.5" - 46 lbs each (92 lbs total)
    • Easiest to increase range by adding more batteries in parallel
  • Samsung EV Lithium Ion 12s 44.4v 47ah 2.07kWh Module - 4 (2-2 in series parallel) [$1000]
    • 88.8v 84ah 7.45 kWh
    • 14" x 6" x 4.5" - 26 lbs each (104 lbs total)
    • Slightly more expensive having them in series
  • EV 4s 14.8v 75ah 1.1kWh EV Battery Module - 6 (in series) [$810]
    • 88.8v 75ah 6.6 kWh
    • 10.5" x 5" x 7" - 18 lbs each (108 lbs total)
    • Gotta double off the bat
  • LG 36v 7.9kWh 10s Lithium Ion EV Module - 2 (in series) [$1580]
    • 72v 220ah 15.8 kWh (I think)
    • 20" x 14" x 5" - 82 lbs (164 lbs total)
    • Enough range if I did the math right
  • Or like an idiot I can follow what Polaris did with 8 12v lead acids (4-4 in series parallel)
    • 48v 176ah 8.4 kWh
    • ...... :D🔫
I also had briefly considered building one ala Jehu, but that just begs for me to die painfully by electrocution. I again welcome any thoughts and any corrections to my calculations.

Thanks, Al
 

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I kind of wish I'd gone for pre-assembled battery packs, just to save me wiring up all the individual cell taps & cross my fingers it wasn't going to burn the BMS if I got it wrong!

All the above options look reasonable. Only you can decide how much range you need - and hence the capacity of the pack.
Higher voltage means lower current - so thinner, easier to wrangle, wires. I've wired mine in 70sqmm cable - which is like dealing with Hydraulic hose! It won't twist - so the lugs have to be swaged on at the right angle (like hydraulic fittings). With the split sleeving over them, they're 1" thick.

The main consideration for you, I think, is figuring out where to put the different shaped & sized batteries. There's not a lot of space to bung them all in (securely). I think you'll find one of the above easier to package. If that meets the above requirement, you have a winner!
 

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What are your performance goals?
...acceleration?
...top speed?
...range?

FYI:
I built my ElMoto for under $2,000.00 ;)

It is motivated by a 8kW PM motor ~$600.00
...controlled by a 550A Kelly Controller ~$350.00
...powered by (2) 48V 50AH Chevy Volt Lithium Modules ~$400.00 ea.
...& maybe ~$250.00 for a contactor, a circuit breaker & cables etc.

The acceleration is very "peppy"
...the top speed is ~50MPH
...& my range is ~45 miles

I pass gas stations with a "big 'ol grin"
...& sometimes "a finger" (y) (nope, not that one)
Nice build!
 

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Hi there, I'm also in the process investigating converting my 2013 Polaris ranger crew (midsize) to electric. (I just joined to post on this thread :)) I've done quite a bit of research as well and here's where I'm at...

I was basically trying to replicate what was done on this Youtube video (
)

From what they've mentioned it's a 72v system with an AC motor. From the size of it, it looks to me like PMAC (Permanent Magnet AC) motor. And in some other investigation, it appears that the transmission shaft is a 19 spline, which may let you mount it directly to the input shaft as they did in the video. I was looking at this motor as a possible option. The me30-31001. It looks like you would need a sevcon gen 4 controller for this. (I'm not as familiar with those)

Another option I was looking at was installing a Navitas AC (induction) motor kit on these. I've just finished installing this setup on a golf cart and can say I was really impressed with the navitas stuff. Funny enough, in my other research of ev conversion I stumbled upon a company building UTV/Side-by-Side that are using navitas kits in their NEW 4 seater UTVs, American Landmaster. (Another video on YT: https://youtu.be/i-hBodHLZIs)

As far as batteries go, I was also on battery hookup and looking at these 2 as options:
EV 4s 14.8v 75ah 1.1kWh EV Battery Module (x5) $675
or
LG 36v 7.9kWh 10s Lithium Ion EV Module - $100/kWh (x2) $1580


Very interested in hearing more about your build and happy to share notes.

Carl
 
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