Off-Road Charger Pilot Project for ORV-EV Adventures in Northern Michigan
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EV CHARGING

Off-Road Charger Pilot Project for ORV-EV Adventures in Northern Michigan

Yotta off-road charger charging two polaris ATVs used for a wintery adventure tour
  • The project involves the innovative Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic electrified ORV and Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures in Ontonagon, Michigan.
  • The Polaris ATVs rely on off-road chargers from Yotta Energy.
  • Each off-road charger will have two solar arrays, a shipping container filled with electrification components, and four J1772 Level 2 EV chargers.
  • Vacationers can begin booking electrified ORV tours this spring.

Along the shores of Lake Superior in Ontonagon County, you’ll find a truly unique electrification project bringing off-road electric vehicles, solar off-road chargers, and adventure vacations together. 

This spring, vacationers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan can take advantage of an emissions-free, off-road day trip with outfitter Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures, which features the first-ever electrified off-road experience. 


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The 94-mile round-trip adventure takes place on a Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic electrified ORV on a four-leg trip that begins and ends at Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures in Ontonagon, Michigan. The trip moves through Berglan before heading to an old copper mine at Adventure Mine Tours. After leaving the copper mine, the tour travels along the Lake Superior coast before heading south to the outfitter. 

While off-road tours aren’t unique to much of Michigan, a fully electrified trip is — especially one that relies on EV charging stations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What makes this trip special is the combination of electrified ORVs, solar EV charging, and a grant from the State of Michigan. 


Enjoy an ORV Tour Around the Upper Peninsula

Image care of Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures

The trip involves three charging spots using solar chargers from Yotta Energy. The company from Austin, Texas, specializes in off-grid electrification. Anyone who’s been to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan knows that it’s a great place to get lost in the woods. Cell phone service there has been spotty for years, which could make traditional EV charging risky if you need to use a phone app to connect. To make the project come to fruition, Yotta installed three REV stations, each with a pair of solar arrays sitting atop a shipping container that contains the guts. Each station has four Level 2 chargers. 

Along the 94-mile tour, adventurers plug in their Polaris electric ATVs at an off-road charger while in Bergland, at the Adventure Mine, and while dining along the Lake Superior coast. Total charging time is expected to be less than three hours, and all charging occurs while adventures are exploring Bergland, the mine, and the coast — so no one experiences any wait time. 

Each stop takes about 45 minutes, which is plenty of time to get the battery to a satisfactory level. At the end of the tour, vacationers will return the Ranger XP Kinetic with about 20% battery. No range anxiety allowed.


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Ranger XP Kinetic Range

Image care of Polaris

The Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic Ultimate has an 80-mile range thanks to the 29.8 kW battery with a 6 kW onboard charging system. Drivers can use a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. The Ranger XP Kinetic Premium has a smaller 14.9 kW battery and a range of about 45 miles.

North Coast Adventures uses the Ranger XP Kinetic Ultimate, and drivers will charge after 19 miles, 37 miles, 20 miles, and 18 miles on the circuit around Ontonagon County. The Ultimate trim charges fully in about 3.5 hours, while the Premium needs about 3 hours to fully charge with a Level 2, 240 V charging system. 

This exciting Polaris electric ATV has a 14-inch clearance, low-speed drivability, a quiet ride, and no fumes. With the quiet ride, drivers can enjoy the sounds of nature rather than the buzzing from the engine and exhaust. With fewer parts, Polaris expects ownership costs to be about 70% less than owning an ORV with an internal combustion engine. 


The Yotta REV Charging System 

Image care of Polaris

The Yotta REV charging system has been specially appointed for this project. After nearly a year of planning, the engineers, electricians, zoning experts, and other stakeholders decided that the project needed to have off-grid and on-grid abilities. The Yotta REV off-road charger system can be used off-grid, but project stakeholders decided to connect the system to the grid in Northern Michigan. 

The shipping containers hold the electrical system, storage system, and inverter. The chargers are tied to the grid to be able to charge the EV batteries if sunlight isn’t available. They can also use the grid to pull power, but each charger has a battery similar to one in a Ford F-150 Lightning, so the storage system can charge up to four Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic Ultimate ORVs before having to pull from the grid. Two of the four grids are powered by renewable energy for a carbon-free charging experience. 


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Another benefit of the Yotta REV is the two-way system. Not only will it pull energy from the grid, it can sell energy back to the grid. The four charging stations are not just for North Coast Adventure visitors, it’s also open to the public. It’s the perfect charging system for a plug-in hybrid EV like a Jeep Wrangler 4xe that needs a Level 2 charger for a few hours.

The Yotta REV off-road charger system features a 10-year warranty, and it’s built for the elements. North Michigan sees a range of weather, from blizzards in the winter to pleasant sunny days in the summer. Of course, the cold temperatures will affect the charging speed, but several of the units have heaters to keep the important components in the shipping containers ready to go. The project has an on-call electrician for issues with up-time. 

Engineers and other stakeholders worked with the Michigan Public Service Commission to place the chargers and provide the metering services. The Polaris network project also relied on a $700,000 grant from the Michigan Office of Future Mobility & Electrification. According to the Chargeway app, two of the off-roader chargers are active: one along the Ontonagon River at 924 River Street in Ontonagon, and the second at Adventure Mining Company in Greenland. 

EV charging stations in Michigan continue to pop up, as the infrastructure stretches from Copper Harbor at the northernmost point of the Upper Peninsula to Ottawa Lake, a few miles north of Toledo, Ohio. A few areas — especially in the northeastern Lower Peninsula, the Sleeping Bear Dunes area, and in the “Thumb” — would benefit from a few more DC fast charging stations and an off-road charger. 


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FEATURE IMAGE: YOTTA ENERGY

FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.

AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

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