A new breed of ATVs looks to bridge utility, durability, and sustainability to serve a wide range of markets from farmers, ranchers, hunters and even law enforcement. LyteHorse Labs, a family-owned and operated company based out of Regina, is the mastermind behind the innovation, on display at this year’s Canada’s Farm Show.
Brad Bonk is the inventor and creator of the machine, while his brother, Allen Bonk, is the CEO of LyteHorse and says their ATV offers many of the same convenient and rugged features of a quad or other typical ATV, but with increased mobility, utility and … fun.
“This is the world’s first heavy duty electric stand up vehicle ATV. And it is very unique as you stand on it to ride, opposed to a typical quad where you sit down and you straddle the machine, this is very easy to get on and off of you just step on and step off. And there’s no barrier between your legs. So if you do get into trouble on it, you can just again step off or jump off very easily,” explains Bonk. “The machine itself is very stable, it’s very safe to ride, much more so than a typical quad. And as a result of that, it’s just a whole lot of fun. Anybody from 10 years old on, we’ve had 80 year old people on the machine having a great time, it’s very easy to learn.”
One of the very unique features is the fact that it’s 100 per cent electric. Not only does this create a virtually silent machine, which is great for situations where you need to remain undetected by animals, whether in a herd or out hunting; It also means it’s a zero emissions vehicle, making it not only good for the environment but could also save you a few bucks in gas along the way as well and eliminates the worry of a hot exhaust pipe accidentally starting a fire in the field.
The standard model comes equipped with two batteries but you can add two more, making the ATV last for approximately 80 miles or 120 kilometres.
“It’s electric, so it has no drive train. [Instead] there are individual wheel motors in each corner of the machine. So every wheel has its own motor. So that provides redundancy on the machine. And what that means is if you happen to lose a motor for whatever reason, you have three more to get you home, if you lose two, you have two more to get you home,” says Bonk.
For those who might think power is being sacrificed by the ATV being 100 per cent electric, you might be surprised to learn the machine tops out at 40 mph, or 64 kph, taking you from point a to point b in a timely manner. Additionally, the torque and pulling power behind the stand-up ATV is another welcome surprise as Bonk says it has about the same pulling power as a Ford F-150. Regardless of your standpoint on Ford, that’s a decent amount of pull coming from an ATV that weighs approximately 800 pounds.
As the ATV could very well be a mainstay in numerous industries as listed above, LyteHorse has done their due diligence and offers different accessory packages to best suit the consumer, including everything from a rifle carrier, flat deck, box and even police lights.
The base model of the ATV start around $18,500, with a fully decked out version coming in around $22,000. Production on the ATVs is set to start in July 2022, with orders already being taken. Bonk says their timeline currently suggests the machines will be built and available later this fall.