EVs have entered the woods!  Did you ever imagine there would be an electric trail option?  In a pioneering move, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Polaris have joined forces to become the first to bring EV tech to off-road adventures.  Strap on your helmet and buckle up for a whole new way to experience Michigan’s ORV trails with the Polaris XP Kinetic EV!

Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic in front of Millers Cottages, Ontonagon, MichiganMichigan ORV trails with Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic cab


Off-road adventure is all about enjoying nature and trail exploration.  Michigan, a haven for off-road enthusiasts, craved an electric twist on the classic trail adventure.  But it needed the perfect machine and partner.  Enter Polaris, the industry’s powerhouse of innovation. Their groundbreaking Ranger XP Kinetic EV, a marvel of off-road prowess, was tailor-made for this mission. Quiet yet supremely capable, the Kinetic was a dream match for Michigan’s diverse terrain. This wasn’t just a partnership – it was a perfect match forged not in heaven, but in the heartland (Minnesota and Michigan, that is!).  Now, all that stood between riders and silent exploration was a way to keep the power flowing.     


The challenge for EV technology off-road was clear: how to power these beasts along remote off-road trails?  Skepticism ran high.  But Polaris, known for creative innovation, saw an opportunity.  Instead of bringing riders to the chargers, why not bring the chargers to the riders? Enter the ingenious portable charging station – a self-contained powerhouse roughly the size of a shipping container.  It rolls up on a truck, a forklift sets it down, solar panels unfold from the top, and voila – instant EV oasis!  Even better, it can connect to the grid, returning power when full.  Modular, efficient, and built to last, it’s a setup dream.  Multiple vehicles can recharge on either side, and it can even service street-legal cars that wouldn’t dare touch a trail.  This, my friends, is pure genius!

Polaris EV Charging_Bergland_MiPolaris Kinetic Charging


Forget the world, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is our off-road Nirvana!  Diverse trails, countless lakes, 200 waterfalls, and friendly faces – it’s a paradise for riders, and honestly, our favorite place to get dirty.  Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures, the U.P.’s western trail gurus, were key in crafting these epic EV loops.  Our base camp?  The charming town of Ontonagon, nestled on the shores of mighty Lake Superior.  And our trusty steed?  The Ranger XP Kinetic – the quiet powerhouse that’ll propel us on an unforgettable adventure.


The Ranger XP Kinetic EV isn’t your grandpa’s Ranger.  It’s the first electric side-by-side with the guts to tackle anything you throw at it.  Every Ranger is a do-it-all machine, and the XP Kinetic takes it a step further.  It packs the same legendary performance – smooth ride, comfy interior, and enough muscle for towing, hauling, or exploring trails – but in an electric package.

Built on the full-sized Ranger frame, the XP Kinetic boasts an electric drivetrain and a hefty battery for extended range.  It features fully independent suspension at both ends, and the familiar Ranger comfort and design in the cab.  It’s the same off-road beast, only quieter.  Highlights of the Ranger XP Kinetic EV are: 

•             Permanent Magnet AC Motor, (110 Hp), air and liquid cooling, and Regenerative Engine Braking system. 

•             14.9 kWh Lithium-Ion Battery with up to 45 Miles Estimate Range, Factory-Installed 3 kW On-Board Charger

•             Gates Synchronous Belt H/L/N/P (Electronic Forward/Reverse), Shaft Drive

•             29″ Pro Armor X-Terrain Tires and 14″ Wheels, 14” Ground Clearance

•             Full Skid Plate & heavy duty Front Bumper with Integrated Winch and Plow Mounts

•             1,250 lb. Box Capacity & 2,500 lb. Towing Capacity

•             12V Cargo Box Power Port with Integrated Dash Switch

Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic EV battery and motorWater crossing on Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Check out our first ride review of the Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic


Ranger veterans will be right at home in the Kinetic XP cab.  Everything’s intuitive and designed for easy control on any adventure.  A large, crystal-clear digital display replaces the usual fuel gauge with a battery life indicator, keeping you updated at all times.  Choose your power mode – Eco, Standard, or Sport – to tailor the ride to your needs.  A handy button on top of the shift lever puts forward and reverse controls right at your fingertips.  And of course, there’s the trademark Ranger storage – plenty of space to stash your gear, a few tools, tie-downs, etc.  Polaris even offers their upgraded Ride Command system with the XP Kinetic.  It’s an infotainment jackpot, giving you all the vehicle data, trail details, and even tracking your buddies.  The Ranger XP Kinetic EV is better prepared for a weekend in the woods than your local prepper club!

Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic EV Ride CommandPolaris Ranger XP Kinetic Camo on grout trail ride


Our adventure wasn’t just about the trails – it was about the journey!  Our loop included a pit stop in the town of Bergland to check out one of the charging stations and refuel the Kinetic, and ourselves with breakfast right across the road. 

Forget the usual engine growl when you twist the Kinetic XP key.  Gauges flicker to life and… nothing.  It’s eerily quiet, but don’t be fooled – the Kinetic XP is ready to pounce.  Select a gear and hold on tight – the acceleration is RZR-rivaling!  Remember, electric motors have instant torque in both directions, so watch those garage walls in reverse!  Here’s the thing about quiet power: at low speeds and with very little sound, it feels a little unnatural.  But hit 10 mph and tire noise kicks in, giving a touch of feedback that complements the responsive steering and smooth ride.  It’s surprisingly sporty for a workhorse, handling weekend trails with ease (just factor in charging stops).  Prepare for a quirk, though.  Unlike gas-powered braking, the XP Kinetic requires you to ease off the throttle and into the brake for the electric motor braking to kick in.  It’s a little unnerving the first time descending a hill, but it works.  What we truly love is the ridiculously tight turning radius – this thing maneuvers through tight woods like a small ATV!  Bottom line: the Ranger XP Kinetic EV delivers everything you expect from a Ranger, just in a whisper-quiet package.

Michigan ORV Trail Map, Bergland MiMillers Cottages of Ontonagon, Michigan


The trails are familiar, but electric off-roading throws a whole new spin on adventure!  As with all EV’s, range becomes your co-pilot, prompting strategic stops (like our breakfast refuel in Bergland while the Ranger topped off across the street).  It’s an adventure at a slightly different pace, but that’s just the beauty of it.  This new rhythm of explore, recharge, repeat becomes surprisingly freeing.  Take in the sights, savor the breaks, and explore at your own electric pace.  This isn’t just about innovation, it’s about redefining what it means to hit the trails.


Who knew silent exploration could be this much fun?  Michigan’s legendary trails just got a groundbreaking upgrade thanks to the visionary partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Polaris.  Bringing the first-ever EV technology to off-road adventures opens the woods to many who may not have explored the trails before.  Traditional gas powered ORVs will always have their place, but this?  This allows many to experience the thrill of the trails in a whole new, electric way!  Dust off your helmet and plug in your sense of adventure – the trails are calling, and adventure awaits.

Michigan ORV trailside camp and Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic in mud on Michigan ORV trails

Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic on Lake Superior Beach. Ontonagon, Mi.

Michgan ORV Trails Polaris XP Kinetic – Michgan ORV Trails Polaris XP Kinetic – Michgan ORV Trails Polaris XP Kinetic

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