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    Can-Am Commander Electric Plugged In

    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.

    Can-Am Commander Electric Camo“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).

    Can-Am Commander Electric UTV
    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.

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      Polaris Industries Inc. has announced a minority investment in Brammo, an Ashland, Ore.-based maker of electric motorcycles. By investing in Brammo, Polaris obtains access to its proprietary electric vehicle powertrain technology, as well as exposure to the electric motorcycle market.

      “We are excited to advance our electric vehicle capability by establishing Polaris as a business partner and part owner of Brammo, one of the most innovative and aggressive companies we have found in the electric motorcycle space,” says Scott Wine, Polaris CEO. “Our companies share a passion for performance, and we look forward to exploiting the numerous opportunities created by pairing Brammo’s industry-leading electric powertrain technology with Polaris’ vast array of market-leading powersports products. This is a small, but important, investment for Polaris in an electric vehicle market that we feel is poised for significant growth.”

      Polaris is hardly new to electric vehicles. The Minnesota-based manufacturer currently produces the Ranger EV off-road vehicle and the Gem and Breeze neighborhood vehicles.

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        We’ve been following a very cool project on TheWorkshop.ca about converting a dune buggy from gas to electric.

        The project has spawned five very detailed articles and videos so far. It’s highly technical, but watching the progression from broken down dune buggy to functional electric vehicle is pretty amazing.

        We’ve embedded the first video below the jump, but you can find all five videos on TheWorkshop.ca YouTube channel. Here are the links to all five articles: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.

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          electric-atv0120According to a report from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, mechanical engineering students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have built an electric-powered ATV for the University Police Department.

          Using a pair of 2002 Suzuki Eiger ATVs and a budget of $4,500, a dozen students and teacher Michael Golub constructed an all-electric vehicle.

          The vehicle is powered by a seven-inch diameter electric motor and a 45-volt lithium battery pack. Together, this combination takes up roughly the same space and weighs less than the engine and gas tank in the stock Eiger.

          Golub figures the ATV will be able to travel for about 30 miles at 20 mph. Hardly neck-snapping speed, but good enough for the police to patrol the university campus.