Why Go Electric?

Here at Rugged EV, our team has decades of experience in the automotive world. Like many off-road enthusiasts and shops, we were into this long, long before battery tech improved and EVs became a common sight on American roads.

So, if you’re not familiar with the pros and cons of EVs, here are a few reasons that an EV is a good choice, and we’re not going to bore you with any environmentalism or politics.

Instant Torque

Electric motors generate maximum torque from zero RPM, providing instant and smooth acceleration that is well-suited for navigating challenging off-road terrain. This torque can help EVs climb hills and drive through mud, snow, and other difficult terrain more easily than gas-powered vehicles. We also provide several different modes the vehicle can drive in to give you tight control over torque in low-speed situations, so you don’t have to worry about getting too much torque at the wrong time.

Quiet Operation

Because EVs rely on electric power instead of an internal combustion engine, they produce very little noise while driving. This can be helpful for off-roading because it allows drivers to better hear their surroundings and anticipate obstacles. If you’re exploring nature or hunting, you’re less likely to frighten the wildlife, too.

Lower Center of Gravity

EVs often have a lower center of gravity than gas-powered vehicles, which can provide better stability and balance when driving off-road. This can be especially important when navigating steep inclines, sharp turns, and rocky terrain. Our first more budget-friendly conversion package has the battery pack in a similar place as the inline six or V8 engine it replaces, but future packages will have larger battery packs mounted lower to take full advantage of this.

Regenerative Braking

Electric vehicles use regenerative braking, which means that when the driver brakes, the electric motor acts as a generator and converts kinetic energy back into electrical energy that can be stored again in the vehicle’s battery. This can help extend the vehicle’s range while off-roading and reduce the need for frequent recharging.

For off-roading, this is especially good because you can descend most hills without needing to hold a foot on the brake. You can control how much braking happens with the accelerator pedal (the former gas pedal) to maintain control over your descent.

Immunity to Altitude

Unlike gas-powered vehicles, EVs do not rely on air for combustion, so they’re not affected by changes in air density. This means that they can perform just as well at high altitudes as they can at sea level, so you can take your vehicle to as high of an altitude as your human lungs can stand. In fact, the only vehicles ever driven in space were EVs, with NASA’s lunar rovers powered by electric motors and batteries.

This can be especially beneficial for off-roaders who enjoy exploring mountainous regions or traversing rocky terrain at high elevations. Additionally, because electric motors do not suffer from power loss at high altitude, drivers can enjoy the same level of performance regardless of the elevation they are driving at, and there’s no need to tune them for events where you’re going up or down mountains.

EVs Work Great At All Angles

Another reason why electric vehicles are better for off-roading is that there is no need to worry about the angle affecting fuel availability. Gas-powered vehicles can experience issues with fuel delivery when driving at steep angles or on challenging terrain, causing power loss or even engine shutoff.

This is not a concern with electric vehicles, as they don’t have a fuel system at all. The electric powertrain of an EV is not affected by changes in the orientation of the vehicle, so there’s no need to worry about fuel delivery issues when off-roading at any angle. You’ll find your vehicle on its roof or rolling down the mountain before you’ll ever have any power loss or stalling.

Low and Stable Fuel Costs

Chart by the Alternative Fuels Data Center (US DOE)

When it comes to off-roading expenses, the best combustion rigs beat everybody but the gas station. Plus, during times that global politics and government policies drive the price of gas or diesel up, it can get especially painful to drive your beloved classic off-roader. But, just as with maintenance, an EV is immune to most of that pain.

Not only is electricity far cheaper than gas or diesel per mile driven, but its price is far more stable. So, whether gas is cheap or expensive, you’re almost always far better off driving the EV. If you don’t already have an EV in your driveway, you’ll probably figure out pretty quickly that your EV-converted classic off-roader is the cheapest commuter vehicle in your fleet!

Almost Zero Maintenance

Electric vehicles (EVs) have low maintenance requirements for several reasons:

  • Fewer moving parts: EVs have fewer moving parts than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, which means there are fewer components that can wear down or malfunction over time. For example, EVs don’t have an ignition, intake, or exhaust system, all of which require maintenance and repair work in ICE vehicles.
  • Much longer brake life: As we mentioned before, EVs use regenerative braking, which can help reduce wear and tear on the braking system by using the motor to slow the vehicle and recharge the battery. This means that EV brake pads typically last longer than those in ICE vehicles.
  • No oil changes or tune-ups: Because EVs don’t have an engine that requires oil to lubricate the moving parts, there is no need for oil changes. This can save owners both time and money. Instead, EVs require some simple battery care procedures to extend service life. They also don’t have spark plugs, wires, coils, or a distributor, so there’s no need for tune-ups.
  • Longer lifespan: EVs tend to have a longer lifespan than ICE vehicles, partly due to their simpler design as well as the fact that battery technology is constantly improving. This means that EV owners may have to replace their vehicle less frequently, which can result in lower overall maintenance costs.
    Electric motors typically last in excess of 1 million miles, so your family is likely only to need to replace the battery pack every 2-3 decades as your beloved off-roader is inherited by your grandchildren.

Overall, the simpler design of EVs and the fact that they have fewer components that require maintenance, and no need for oil changes, make them a low-maintenance alternative to traditional ICE vehicles.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

As you can see, it doesn’t matter much what your position is on the environment and whether EVs are better for it. Either way, they’re great for off-roading and should provide years of trouble free performance when off road. Plus, you might find the low cost of ownership to even make commuting in your electric classic off-roader the best choice in your driveway!