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Old 07-10-2014, 02:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I want a hybrid side by side!

Lately I've really wanted to buy a side by side/UTV type vehicle and make it street legal. What I've learned is they don't get very good gas mileage in stock form. I would really love to build some sort of hybrid out of one of these. I need to get at least 30mpg.

The question is how do I do it? They sell electric ones like the Polaris Ranger, but they only have a top speed of 25mph. Does anybody know if it would be possible to increase the speed on something like that? Or is there a similar vehicle available that does 55mph? I could put a generator in the back and have a hybrid easy!

The other option would be to convert a normal gas model. How would you add electric propulsion to a small vehicle like that? Convert the front axle to electric and leave the rear gas powered? Maybe add a supplemental electric motor to the engine? (kind of like a super charger)

Just curious if anybody has any ideas before I go reinventing the wheel. Surely somebody else has done this?

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Old 07-10-2014, 04:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You will need to look up your motor vehicle Laws in Oregon and see just what can and can't be done in your state.

My guess is you will not find a insurer for it to make it road legal.

I think it would be great if we could insure ATV's as road vehicles , I have yet to see it done, besides with dirt bikes , hmm if they can..
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure it can be done. It's not easy, but it can be done. I have seen them with license plates. They need a lot of equipment added. It would probably be registered as a custom/homemade vehicle. The law says side by sides cannot be made street legal, but things like sand rails and other custom hot rods are commonly street legal.

There is a UTV called the Oreion Reeper (don't have enough posts to post a link) that is street legal from the factory, but that's not quite the style I want. (And they're overpriced)
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a idea for your hybrids motor
A electric drive with batteries for the charger a diesel motor from a reefer trucks trailer mounted refrigeration unit.
Those motors are dependable and economical
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number21 View Post
The question is how do I do it? They sell electric ones like the Polaris Ranger, but they only have a top speed of 25mph. Does anybody know if it would be possible to increase the speed on something like that? Or is there a similar vehicle available that does 55mph? I could put a generator in the back and have a hybrid easy!
There is always a costly way to make something go faster, generally if they are street legal (based on your state) they are limited use vehicles and also LSV.

In other words LAW requires you can't go over 25mph, however certain states allow a lot of things.

Good Luck
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It sounds even more challenging to do so in such a small rig than in a regular pick-up truck. due to the usually tight space available for the drivetrain. Anyway, I would probably get a small Diesel engine, maybe turbocharging it, with an alternator beefy enought to also generate some power to the electric drive. You could consider to replace the front differential with an electric motor (which must be reversible), keeping the rear wheels still driven by the internal-combustion engine even if you would ultimately manage to get them also driven by another electric motor. You could eventually try a BAS-Hybrid layout similar to the hybrid versions of the Chevy Malibu, Saturn Aura and Saturn Vue.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Lately I've really wanted to buy a side by side/UTV type vehicle and make it street legal.
For why? What is it about the UTV platform the you like? Off-road, like a offroad/street legal hybrid?



These pictures date to, apparently, 2004. As I recall it had a top speed of 45mph and a range of maybe 20. There weren't a lot of batteries under the hood.



It had a golf cart axle in back with the motor as unsprung weight.



All this would need would be a small gas/diesel fwd added. Umm, where the batteries are.... Maybe a drivetrain like the XR-3 and batteries in a pickup bed?
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You could slide a VW flat-4 and transaxle straight forward, used Rabbit driveshafts and position the model T grille shell right at the flywheel. The polished aluminum tranny would be stuck out front like a direct-drive supercharger and the cylinder heads would be right where you would expect them.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am in the process of designing almost Exactly what you are describing. We need a small, (must fit in the bed of our extra cab Tundra with the tailgate up when we pull our camp trailer), 2 person light UTV. I want electric so we can see wildlife when out cruising the backroads. I'm thinking we can add a Yamaha I- 2000 generator to charge the battery while moving and stopped, they are Very quiet and light. I'm going to use a welded aluminum frame with motorcycle rear swing-arms and fork suspensions for the front. I'm looking at a Chevy Volt battery section ( E-bay $1200) and two Briggs & Stratton Etek motors, good for about 60hp max and 20-30 continuous. In AZ we can make ATV's and UTV's street legal, so a watering hole (about a mile) cruiser could happen too!

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