Introduction and ATV Before Conversion

I’ve been following the electric vehicle scene for many years and I decided it was time for me build an electric vehicle of some kind.  I thought I would start off small, and I had seen very few electric ATV conversions on the web so it seemed like a good first project that I could work on with my sons.  I don’t think anyone has built one with the same performance and features.  In addition to the electric drive conversion, I also set it up so that I can attach and power electric implements, making it more useful than just something to drive around.

ATV Before Conversion

I bought a used 2004 Polaris Sportsman for this project which was in good running condition.  I wanted something in good shape considering all the time that would go into the conversion.  The shot below is what the ATV looked like before I started any work.

The main reason I chose this ATV model is that the engine and transmission are separate units, which you will see later made the conversion quite a bit easier.  In some ATVs the engine and transmission are contained in the same housing, and this would have made adapting the electric motor drive much more difficult.  The specifications of the stock ATV are as follows:

  • Engine:  single cylinder 4-stroke 500cc, peak HP=38@6600RPM, peak torque=33 ftlbs@5400RPM (at crankshaft)
  • On-demand all-wheel drive
  • Electric winch
  • Transmission:  2 forward speeds and 1 reverse speed, plus continuously variable clutch drive between engine and transmission
  • Towing capacity 1200lbs
  • Dry weight: 700lbs, GVWR: 1200lbs
  • Full specs can be found here

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