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New UTVs hit the market

Last summer, Quebec-based Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), introduced a new product in its Can-Am lineup: the Commander, a prototype electric-drive UTV. The electric-drive technology under the hood of the Commander was developed in conjunction with the Centre de technologies avancées BRP at the University de Sherbrooke. The Commander, like several other Can-AM products, will be built at a new BRP plant in Sherbrooke.

Commanders will soon be appearing in the showrooms of Can-AM dealers across North America. “We will recruit from within our existing dealer network to develop the business and gradually expand as market demand grows,” says Mihai Rasidescu, vice-president, specialized vehicles group. “We will go out in phases and, starting July 1, 2012, the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle will be on sale at some BRP dealers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.”

The Commander has a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour, and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres, depending on temperature, terrain, battery type and driving conditions. Under the hood is a 48 volt, AC induction, air cooled electric motor that draws power from a 9.4 kilowatt-hour power pack of lead-acid batteries. However, an optional fast-charging, lithium battery system is available that bumps up the storage rating to 21.2 kWh, which provides extended range.

MSRP for the Commander starts at $16,799 for the base model. There are more than 50 different options available for it. For more information visit


JCB’s North American subsidiary, based in Savannah, Georgia, used the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, to introduce its new, two-model UTV line. The company is offering gas and diesel versions of the new WORKMAX.

The diesel WORKMAX is powered by a three-cylinder, 20-horsepower Yanmar engine, while the gas uses a 20-horsepower, two-cylinder Kohler engine. Both engines deliver power through a two-speed CVT transmission using a Kevlar belt. They also offer four-wheel drive with an electric, selectable differential lock.

The engines and transmissions are positioned farther forward on the WORKMAX chassis than on many other brands’ designs, which provides a 50-50 weight distribution when the cargo area is fully loaded. The tipping cargo deck is rated for 400 kilograms (880 pounds).

These UTVs are designed to appeal to those who want a sturdy, working machine, according to the company. “Even the product’s registered name, JCB WORKMAX, reflects the company’s market focus,” reads the corporate press release.

JCB is launching the WORKMAX line to capitalize on what it sees as a move away from ATVs to UTVs by those, such as farmers, who need a small, capable workhorse. “This trend is driven by user desire for more comfort combined with the increased carrying capacity offered by the cargo deck of the UTV design concept,” says Michael Chandler, WORKMAX product sales manager.

The two WORKMAX models are available in a variety of colours including camouflage. They can be ordered with a wide range of options, including a sealed cab for protection from the weather. They’ll be available from existing JCB dealers along with other selected off-road product dealerships.

For more information, visit †

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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