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If you shop for a new utility terrain vehicle (UTV), you’ll come across two types of engines: electric and gas. Choosing the right engine type depends entirely on how you plan to use your vehicle.
Both engine types offer advantages.
In this guide, we’ll help you choose the UTV engine group that’s best for your needs. Let’s compare electric and gas engines in a variety of riding scenarios and performance categories.
Electric UTVs are perfect for casual use that’s mostly contained to a single property and its nearby surroundings. You never need to gas up—just reconnect the vehicle to its charge port at the end of your ride.
Electric engines also run quietly. You can ride around a home or a customer-serving business without worrying about your engine noise bothering anyone.
Plus, when you’re running on electric power, there are no emissions. You’ll never get gas on your hands or create any smells. These advantages might not matter for offroading, but they’re great for casual use with mixed riding groups.
Gas UTVs can also work for short trips and riding around a single property. You just need to keep some fuel around. Depending on your personal preference and the availability of electrical outlets versus fuel, you might find either an electric or a gas UTV more convenient for casual use.
Winner: electric. An electric UTV is perfect for short, casual rides.
Gas UTVs have traditionally been the preferred option for work use. However, modern electric motorsports engines have gained ground. Compared to older electric UTVs, new models are more sophisticated, powerful, and able to last longer between charges.
Still, for work use, a gas-powered UTV is often your best bet. At a worksite, it’s usually easier to keep gas on hand than it is to connect to electricity. Gassing up is fast, while charging can take some time.
Winner: gas. When you’re on the clock, gas engines are ideal. You can fuel up quickly and get right back to work.
If you’re riding in the wilderness or on a long, remote trail, you won’t be able to charge an electric UTV. Needing electricity access limits the duration and distance of your adventures.
On the other hand, with a gas UTV, you can travel with extra gas. It’s also easy to monitor your fuel gauge. You can accurately estimate how much further you can travel before running out of gas.
Winner: gas. Electric UTVs continue to improve and might eventually compete with gas for long adventure rides. As of today, gas wins this category.
While gas-powered UTVs offer the convenience of easy fueling, the cost of gas adds up. It’s typically more expensive to refill a gas UTV than it is to recharge an electric UTV.
Electric UTVs just need a charge port connection. You don’t need to worry about keeping gas on hand, and you aren’t subject to the high costs and dramatic fluctuations that occur with gas prices.
Charging your electric UTV isn’t free, of course. Keeping your vehicle charged will increase your electricity bill. However, the cost is generally lower than the cost of keeping a gas-powered UTV fueled up.
Winner: electric. Every time you charge an electric UTV, you save some cash in comparison to the cost of refueling a gas-powered UTV.
High-performance UTV engines are usually of the gas-powered variety. Gas is the way to go for speed and power.
If you mostly plan to use your vehicle for offroading, a gas-powered UTV is probably your best bet. Of course, electric UTVs are stronger than they used to be. You might be surprised by the performance offered by the latest models. Still, gas is generally the choice for riders who want speed, power, and offroad capabilities.
Winner: gas. The highest-performing engines tend to be found in gas-powered UTVs.
Switchback Motorsports is your Idaho destination for UTVs. Along with our incredible inventory of new and pre-owned motorsports vehicles and accessories, we offer financing, service, and repairs all from our shop in the Pacific Northwest.
Contact Switchback Motorsports online any time, or visit our beautiful showroom in Pocatello in southeast Idaho.
While great effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, errors can occur.
Please verify all pricing information with a customer service representative.
This is easily done by calling us or visiting us at the dealership.