Electric UTV vs. Gas Engine | Hunt or Shred

The rise of electric vehicles is creeping into the UTV industry, and it has many people comparing the electric UTV vs. the gas engine options available today.

Finding the right UTV is critical to ensure you get the best value and performance. To narrow down your choices, a meaningful comparison is the difference between the electric and gas engine UTV.

The electric UTV vs. gas engine UTV is an exciting debate, and they have many differences, like speed, power, and performance. You should expect more power and peak RPMs from a gas engine UTV, but the electric UTV is cheaper to maintain and rides extremely quietly, making it ideal for hunting.

Electric UTVs provide similar performance as gas engine UTVs but with fewer maintenance costs and no need to pay for fuel. You also have more minor parts requiring upgrades like air filters or spark plugs, meaning they will last longer. This guide is a complete comparison between the two to outline the pros and cons of each UTV type.

We have compiled data from the top sources in the industry, along with field tests on gas and electric UTVs. This guide highlights the differences in making a knowledgeable and informed purchase.

Table of contents


Electric UTV vs. Gas Engine

Electric UTVs are gaining popularity due to their low running costs, low emissions, and high performance.

Gas engines are still in use because they are cheaper to maintain and easier to use. They also have a higher power output than electric UTVs.

Electric UTVs have a range of 40-75 miles on average on a single charge, while gas engines have a range of about 100-175 miles on a single tank.

They are an excellent option for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and get the most out of their riding experience. They are also easier to maintain and cheaper to buy.

Electric UTVs offer a great alternative to the gas engine in terms of fuel efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits.

Why Should You Use An Electric UTV?

Electric UTVs are an excellent option for a few reasons, but it ultimately depends on your riding style, location, and budget.

Consider some of the benefits of an electric UTV first before deciding which vehicle type will suit you best.

Quiet Riding With Minimal Noise

Electric UTVs are quieter, more environmentally friendly, and will provide a more enjoyable and relaxing riding experience.

The silent motor that runs the electric UTV is often misunderstood by people unfamiliar with electric motors.

Electric motors work by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa. The electricity is stored in a battery which powers the motor when it needs to run.

No engine means no loud noises when starting up or accelerating either.

Zero Fuel Costs

If you're looking for a new way to get around, electric UTVs are an excellent option. Not only do they cost less than their gasoline counterparts, but they also offer many other benefits that make them a good purchase.

They are cheaper to run because there are zero fuel costs. You only charge the battery when needed - so you never have to worry about running out of gas.

They are environmentally friendly and can be used for work or leisure. But remember, a battery provides less range than fuel.

Easier To Maintain

The electric UTV doesn’t have the same parts that need frequent repairs, so it's more cost-effective over time.

This makes them extremely easy to maintain because you will never run into problems with the air filters, spark plugs, etc., since they do not have these parts.

The electric battery and motor combination is designed to be more efficient for this reason. Expect very few problems with your electric UTV, resulting in lower maintenance costs.

What Are The Downsides To An Electric UTV?

Electric UTVs are a great way to get around, but they do have some drawbacks. Depending on who you are and what you value most, these could also serve as dealbreakers for you.

Consider things like where you live and your riding style first. Below are four drawbacks we thought were worth mentioning most.

More Expensive Upfront

Electric UTVs are more expensive than gas engines upfront because of the advanced design, batteries, and additional features included.

However, they have lower operational costs because they don't require the maintenance of a gas engine. Overall, electric UTVs save money in the long-term.

If you have the initial budget, this likely is not a problem for you because of the reduced fuel costs and lower repair bills you will need to deal with.

Heavier Machines

Another downside to Electric UTVs is they tend to be heavier because the battery and motor weigh a lot. This can make them a bit harder for some people to handle and be able to push around.

It also makes it more difficult to store them on occasion due to the large internal battery. If you are looking to charge your machine when the battery dies, this problem becomes even more apparent too.

Less Range Than A Gas Engine UTV

Electric UTVs have a shorter range than gas engine UTVs. However, they are also more efficient and cost-effective than gas engine UTVs.

The electric UTV requires a longer charging time. Because of this, there is a higher risk of running out of battery during long trips or when it gets dark.

You must be much more careful when using these machines on longer riders. A dead battery in a remote area could be a major problem.

Decreased Performance In Cold Weather

Electric UTVs are great for those who live in warm climates and want to enjoy their off-road adventures year-round.

However, they also perform much worse in cold weather than gas engine UTVs. This is because lithium-ion batteries lose power when temperatures drop below a certain point.

To make sure you get the most out of your off-road experience this winter, make sure to take your gas UTV with you on the coldest days.

Why Should You Use A Gas Engine UTV?

The gas engine UTV is a strong, lightweight, and powerful vehicle that can be used in various ways. They are perfect for those who want to go on adventures and explore the great outdoors.

It has many features that stand out, and depending on your needs, they might be the perfect choice for you. Consider some of these benefits first.

Lightweight Design

A gas engine UTV is lighter than an electric UTV because they don’t require a heavy battery to power them. They also have a smaller engine which helps with speed and handling.

This also makes it easier to transport the vehicle when it is not in use. They are also easier to store at home when not in use.

There is no need to set up any type of battery charging station either. This is a huge advantage to someone with less space in their home or garage.

Longer Driving Range

The gas-powered UTVs have a much longer driving range than their electric counterparts because the fuel tanks provide up to 100 miles per fill.

However, these gas-powered vehicles are not as environmentally friendly as they might seem. They still produce emissions that contribute to global warming.

The average UTV gas tank holds 5-7 gallons with 20-25 miles per gallon. This is much longer than the 40-60 miles of charge an electric UTV can provide.

More Powerful Engine

Gas engine UTVs have a much more powerful engine with better towing, max speed, and horsepower. These factors make it an ideal option for those who are looking for the best UTV on the market.

What Are The Downsides To A Gas Engine UTV?

There are still some downsides to a gas engine UTV. The most obvious one is the fuel costs, but this may not be a huge deal for some.

It ultimately depends on your preference and what works best for you. We have listed three of the clear cons to owning a gas engine UTV when compared to electric options.

Much More Maintenance Needed

You can expect much more maintenance and repairs when owning a gas engine UTV. This is because they have many accessories like spark plugs and air filters that need to be replaced often.

This can be a major cost over time and lead to times when your vehicle might break down. They are not as efficient of machines as electric options.

Fuel Costs

The fuel cost of owning this UTV is another obvious downside. You will spend $20-$30 per trip to the gas station to keep this machine fueled up.

While this may seem low, you can burn through that multiple times per month.

Riding Is Not As Smooth

Lastly, you will notice much less comfort and smooth riding. This is because they are better built for power, and they produce more noise.

This is one reason why they are not the best choice for hunters. Cutting through the woods in this vehicle will scare off any potential prey.

Electric UTV vs. Gas Engine: Which Is More Durable?

Electric UTVs are more durable than gas engines because they don't need the same amount of maintenance and have fewer moving parts.

Gas engines require regular oil changes, spark plugs, and other routine maintenance that electric UTVs do not require.

If you are looking for something that is easy to maintain, the electric UTV is the obvious choice. An electric motor is compact and efficient and runs much smoother than a gas engine.

The simple design makes it possible for these UTVs to last for years, while you may end up spending a fortune on repairs to make your gas engine UTV last that long.

Electric UTV vs. Gas Engine: Range And Cost Comparison

When comparing these two types of UTVs, you will likely be interested in both the driving range and maintenance cost. These are two key factors that we will explain to you.

When analyzing the range of a UTV, you first must check the battery type and size.

For example, a 14.9 kWh Lithium-Ion battery has a range of 40-45 miles, while a 29.8 KWh Lithium-Ion battery provides more range closer to 80 miles.

The average gas engine UTV has a fuel capacity of 5-7 gallons and gets about 20 miles per gallon. This means you can expect a range between 100-140 miles, but there are fuel-efficient options that provide an even better range above 150 miles.

But this benefit also comes with a cost. The electric UTV has no fuel engine, air filter, and many other features you would find in a gas engine UTV. This results in less maintenance and repair costs.

There are also no fuel fees. Depending on gas prices in your area, you will pay between $3-$5 per gallon, so it costs $15 to $35 to fill up your UTV gas tank each time.

It may seem like a small price, but it can add up quickly when you also factor in regular repairs and maintenance.

Best Electric UTV vs. Best Gas Engine UTV

Electric UTVs are more efficient and can be recharged quickly. They also have a longer range than gas-engine UTVs.

Gas-engine UTVs typically have a lower price tag than their electric counterparts and are still more durable than their electric counterparts.

Below we will compare the Polaris Ranger EV and the Can-Am Defender. Both of these vehicles are highly rated and serve as the perfect benchmark options.

Polaris Ranger EV UTV

The Polaris Ranger EV is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to go green. It is a great option for those who want to explore the outdoors without worrying about running out of battery life.

The design includes a single 48V AC-induction motor that helps to provide 30 horsepower. The size of the vehicle is also compact at 58” x 30” with 10 inches of ground clearance for off-road.

This vehicle has solid strength for an electric vehicle, including 1,000 pounds of payload capacity and 1,500 pounds of towing capacity. It also includes two comfortable seats and a rear cargo box with 500 pounds of capacity.

This is a popular choice among hunters because it can ride so quietly with excellent cargo storage. This is one of the primary reasons why hunters opt for electric UTVs despite the lack of range.

Can-Am Defender UTV

The Can-Am Defender UTV is a rugged and durable off-road vehicle that is great for both work and play. This UTV is available in many trim levels that allow for upgrades if your budget accommodates it.

It also has a power tilt bed that is fully functional with an excellent weight capacity to use for any task. The massive engine has 52 horsepower and 41 pounds of torque, including a maximum speed of 62 MPH.

This is the perfect UTV for all seasons too. It has comfortable seating, an AC unit, automatic climate control features, and a full heating and ventilation system.

With this machine, you can expect much more power as it has a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds. The 6x6 traction and 6x4.5 dump bed are the two features that make it possible.

This also includes under-bed storage that gives you added space for cargo. If you value power and performance, this is the clear winner.

For a more in depth comparison of the gas versions of these two great UTV's check out our article Can-Am Defender vs. Polaris Ranger.




41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!

Read More About Michael