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Discussion Starter #1
I have been one signature away from buying a Ranger EV but have held off out of fear of the wet cell batteries. I really want the EV, but I have not read a single positive statement about the batteries. Polaris can't or won't answer any questions, instead referring me to dealers who only know or care about non-EV versions. Would someone here please help my decision?

First & foremost, why did Polaris decide to go with wet cell batteries at all? Is there a benefit in certain climates or temperatures or ??? I'm not comfortable buying something which everyone seems to dislike or hate. Even in these forums I haven't read any positive posts about the wet cell batteries. It would help temper my opinion if I at least understood why Polaris made such a decision.

Closely related, Polaris apparently shipped the Ranger EV with sealed batteries for a while, but has gone back to the wet cell (or "conventional" as they call them) batteries. Does anyone know why?

I love that other batteries are available, including Lithium ones, but I don't want to buy a brand new Ranger EV only to throw away $2k of brand new batteries. Clearly many of you with older models are needing to buy replacements, but the batteries are too heavy to be shipped. If any of you live around Southern California and would buy brand new wet cell batteries, please let me know since that could sway my decision to buy a new Ranger EV. Is there any other market (other than Ranger EV owners) for these batteries if I wanted to immediately sell the default batteries?

Finally, my use of a Ranger EV would be very limited, moving around only 3 acres and likely only once or twice a week. What frequency of battery maintenance (adding distiller water) can I reasonably expect? Is the addition of water directly proportional to how much I use it, or the duration on the charger, or the humidity of the environment, or ???

Thanks in advance.
 

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You better buy a pallet full of those
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do appreciate the cost difference of a lithium battery, but I would have thought that AGM or other sealed battery would be similarly priced and functionally comparable. I've since found info stating that AGM doesn't do well when discharged below 50%, so perhaps that's the criteria Polaris used (????) and perhaps that's what happened when Polaris offered a sealed battery (& mentions it on their website: RANGER EV Battery Maintenance | Polaris RANGER).
 

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It is not possible for any of us to answer why Polaris stays with the flooded lead acid battery. We know that this type of battery was common and reliable in 2010 when the Ranger EV was introduced. I do not think Polaris ever offered AGM or other sealed batteries, you may be thinking of the brief and unsuccessful introduction of the Lithium powered Ranger EVs. I have repurposed new Ranger EV batteries to solar energy storage users. The OEM battery is a high quality battery that works fine in that application. You might find a buyer in that sector. However, you will be money ahead buying a 2014 or newer Ranger EV in need of replacement batteries, then converting to Lithium.
 

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To answer your question, the main reason Polaris went with wet cell batteries is the cost. Please note that 12v batteries they used are good for what they are. The cost of an equivalent AGM battery would have been more. I have been pricing the wholesale market for months now. I am guessing that the other reason is that it would not have affected sales. They could have spent another $500+ on batteries and it would not have increased sales. People are already getting 3-4 years out of the wet cells.

As for wet battery maintenance, from the people we have known who have this EV, they usually add water monthly. With the tube system it is really easy.

We were in the same boat at you. We have a small ranch and needed an UTV for lots of short trips. The EV just made more sense for us. We were close to buying a new Ranger with the idea of replacing the batteries with Lithium when the wet cells go out. We ended up going the buy used, fix up and upgrade to Lithium. I keep detailed spreadsheets on all of my vehicles, otherwise it is easy to go over budget without knowing. So far the fix up (tires, front bearings, tierods etc) and the improvements (Lithium, winch, aux battery, windshield, roof, rear window, etc) are adding up. I am guessing when we are done we will be close to the cost of a new EV. The main difference is that we have Lithium and all of the extras that we need.
 

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Would Polaris sell more at 10,000 w lead acid or 22,000 w lithium. I would not buy any UTV at 20,000.00.
 

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Lead Acid Batteries are a fairly basic design, they are robust and have the ability to shift big currents under load with no long term damage. As part of the charging process, when the charge has completed the battery is over charged and this causes the cells to get balanced (a 12V battery has 6 2v cells inside) The good cells just get hot and gas (hence the real need to top them up) On the ranger another reason why they have a lot of over charge , is that the first battery in each string was used as a 12v tap off. That means that battery will get lower state of charge than the other 3 in each string. Hence why its got a high rate of over charge.
Gel batteries are much much nicer to handle, dont gas, dont need topping up. But also dont tend to be able to deliver the same rate of high discharge. And definitely need a 10 to 20 charge cycle to get them working properly. If you dont break them in gently, life is really shortened. Often people put leisure batteries in their vehilce,, again Gel but they are designed for storage and low power usage, and high power discharge tends to bend the lead plates inside and then you lose a cell and the battery is duff. Traction Gel have thicker plates and can be discharged OK. But do need seem to need the break in period. I have been working with a company who import a similar vehicle to the Ranger (we are in the UK) and they have a gel pack. The issue of breaking in has been a real pain, some users just dont care and expect a replacement when they kill them at 15months, other do as they are told and they are lasting 3or so years with considerate usage.
So for Polaris the use of the tough, proven wet Trojans has been the right choice. Getting users to water them, is really the problem. But even then, some of my Li Ion conversion customers are getting through a set of properly maintained Trojans in under two years. Thats daily full charge use . For them Li Ion is a cost effective solution, and cleaner, and lighter.
 
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