While big players Honda, Yamaha and Polaris are getting ready to pull the pin on the Australian quad bike market, CFMOTO is in the market for the long haul.
It looks like a cross between a giant skateboard and a sailing dinghy with a hint of motorised barrow and a golf buggy.
Yet the e3 quad might suit you in being a bit different and environmentally friendly.
It was developed in NZ and launched at the 2014 National Fieldays, promoted as ideal for agricultural applications. It carries two people and has a tipping tray with a 250kg capacity.
Power comes from a 72V lithium-ion battery pack with running costs amounting to no more than $1/day for a recharge, the company says.
Battery life is reckoned at 6000 recharges – typically 16 years of daily charging.
The battery pack feeds twin electric motors with peak torque of 84Nm. They drive the rear wheels via a 5:1 chain reduction. This combination offers a top speed of 35km/h and is halted by disc brakes. It has high torque, slow speed control in difficult conditions, and there’s regenerative braking in the drive line which tops up the battery.
The frame carries a high strength body monocoque body reinforced with Kevlar material and the maker describes it as a highly stable platform. It’s all built around a heavy duty, hot dip galvanised chassis with stainless steel fittings and marine grade seating and switches.
The e3 also benefits from a 304 grade stainless steel ROPS and inertia reel seatbelts as standard.
The maker says testing suggested that a three wheel/ triangular layout – to carry two people side by side and a rear load -- offered better stability than conventional four wheel layouts.
Especially this suits uneven terrain because all three wheels stay in constant contact with the ground, the maker says.
The e3 is said to have a much wider wheel track than a typical quad, better for stability and for towing up to 500kg on the rear coupling.
Owner George Cook, of Taupo, says he likes the vehicle.
“Our selection criteria were a vehicle that both my wife and I could use, with battery power preferred for low noise and high torque, to deal with the steep areas of our property safely.
“The latter quickly ruled out ATVs, so we chose the e3 and it has been a joy to use. The machine pulls our heavy chipper with ease and carts logs, bark and tools. It makes hard work a pleasure.”