Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Survival: Electric Motorcycle/ATV Breakdown

Electric vehicle technology has come a long way in recent years. Originally an idea better suited for sci-fi films, electric vehicles can be seen around the world and are finally providing a reliable means of transportation. In a post-apocalyptic world, fuel sources will become scarce quickly. Having cars, trucks, or motorcycles that rely on fossil fuel lose their value when the tanks are empty. An electric vehicle can last for years using alternative energy sources to recharge the batteries. These vehicles are also silent so it becomes much easier to move through populated areas undetected.
Polaris EV LSV
The 30 horsepower ATV from Polaris is capable of traveling over 50 miles on a single charge, can carry 1,000 pounds of payload, and can tow 1,250 pounds. Complete with on-demand all-wheel drive, the EV LSV is a serious piece of survival equipment.
The ATV uses eight 12-volt batteries to provide power to the 48 volt motor. A battery bank of this size is going to require an adequate power generation source. Large solar panels or an efficient wind turbine attached to a charge controller can power this vehicle indefinitely. The 50 mile range isn’t great but it certainly beats walking that distance.
Electric Golf Carts
Instead of forking out big money for a commercially made electric ATV, many people have successfully turned electric golf carts into decent survival vehicles. Golf courses typically feature variable terrain and small obstacles so they have to be somewhat rugged to begin with. With a few modifications, an electric cart is capable of hauling a payload around and getting better mileage than the Polaris in most cases.
Knobby tires can be put on a golf cart for an instant boost in traction when traveling on dirt, gravel, or mud. It is easy to make a plywood platform and attach it to the back for carrying supplies, firewood, weapons, and anything else you can think of. Keep in mind that golf carts do not use very powerful motors so the payload capacity will be limited compared to purpose-built vehicles but a used golf cart can be purchased and modified inexpensively and quickly.
Zero S
Electric motorcycles haven’t quite made it into the mainstream spotlight yet. This is mostly because the batteries required to operate for more than a few minutes are heavy and large. Zero Motorcycles does offer a decent option that can get you where you need to go in style. The Zero S electric motorcycle has a range of up to 135 miles and can reach speeds of 95 mph.
The motorcycle uses a standard charging plug making it easy to hook up to any power source you may have available. The current model takes 8 hours to charge fully which is probably the only drawback to the vehicle. It is made for speed and range so there aren’t any luggage racks available unless you fabricate your own. But if you are looking to get somewhere in a hurry, this is one of the fastest electric vehicles you will find in production.
Electric vehicles provide a sustainable means of travel in a world where fossil fuels are not readily available. An alternative power source is required to use these vehicles and they are especially susceptible to an EMP pulse, but all of these vehicles provide a quiet, efficient way to get from place to place.