BRP has announced that it will be assembling specialized vehicles derived from its line of products in a new plant in Sherbrooke, Que. One such vehicle is an electric version of the Can-Am Commander side-by-side.
BRP had a prototype of the electric Commander on display in Montreal last summer during Club BRP. Due to the reaction from dealers, distributors and the media, BRP plans to market and sell the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle.
“We will be using the same marketing and distribution strategy that we used for our Can-Am Spyder roadster,” says Mihai Rasidescu, vice-president, Specialized Vehicles Group. “We will recruit from within our existing dealer network to develop the business and gradually expand as market demand grows. We will go out in phases and, starting July 1, 2012, the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle will be on sale at some BRP dealers in Québec, Ontario and Alberta, and in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas and Virginia.”
The first Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle goes to Sherbrooke University, BRP’s partner in developing the vehicle’s electric technology. The vehicle can reach a top speed of 40 km/h (20 mph) and has a range of between 40 and 160 km (24 and 96 miles).
Powering the electric Commander is a 40V air-cooled electric motor with AC induction, which produces a claimed 30 horsepower. Beyond the engine, the electric Commander is very similar to its gas-powered siblings. Like the regular Commander, the electric models features a selectable 2WD/4WD, shaft driven, lockable rear differential, two-tiered cargo box (600-pound capacity), double A-arm front suspension, torsional trailing arm independent rear suspension (both providing 10 inches of travel), and 1,500 pounds of towing capacity. One notable difference is found on the scales, as the electric Commander weighs in at 1,870 pounds, about 600 pounds more than its gas-powered cousin.