The choice and availability of electrically-powered all-terrain vehicles for farm use is gathering pace, with HiSun distributor, Barrus, introducing no fewer than four-new side-by-side vehicles this year.

The Oxfordshire-based company dipped its toe in the battery power market with the Vector E1 model from the Chinese manufacturer using dry cell batteries. But the newcomers store their electric power in more modern, higher performance lithium-ion batteries linked to motors with a range of outputs.

The range-topping HiSun Sector 15 is described by Barrus vehicles sales manager, Roger Suckling, as 'a real everyday workhorse with more power and torque to tackle the most challenging of terrains'.

It packs a 16.5kWh capacity battery said to typically take 5.5 hours to accumulate a full charge and it supplies an AC motor rated at 15kW but developing maximum power of 37.5kW.

Mr Suckling says the lithium-ion technology batteries are designed for longer run times and that a single charge will keep the UTV working for a full day.

The new Sector 15 is a little larger than the company’s petrol engine models, although the bigger cargo box measuring 143cm long, 106cm wide and 33cm deep has a lesser load rating at 350kg versus 544kg.

If people-carrying rather than load lugging is the priority, then the four-seat version provides a solution. A second bench seat fits into the longer wheelbase of this model – which measures 2755mm versus 1950mm – while retaining the same tipping cargo box and capacity.

Both versions share a two-speed CVT transmission said to deliver lively performance in conjunction with the characteristics of the electric motor drive, as well as dual A-arm independent suspension front and rear.

That set-up also features on the Sector 7.5, which essentially is a ‘15’ with smaller capacity batteries and a less powerful drive motor, so it has a 14.7kWh capacity lithium-ion storage unit powering a motor rated at 7.5kW but capable of 19kW.

The smaller Sector 5 also has the same essential chassis and running gear design but in a more compact package, and it makes do with a 12.7kWh battery and 5kW rated, 14kW maximum electric drive motor.

It has a smaller cargo box in terms of width and length as it sits on a shorter – 1850mm – wheelbase, with towing performance down to 225kg from the larger machines’ 350kg.

Even so, like the others it will climb inclines of more than 30° forwards or backwards, says Mr Suckling, and is reckoned to be capable of going up to 44 miles on a full charge, depending upon how enthusiastically it is driven, of course.

All models have the option of the fully enclosed cab kit that includes a glass windscreen with wash/wipe, rear ‘screen, metal roof and lockable doors.

As standard, they come with a front-mounted winch and a rear tow hitch, and electric power steering is fitted to the three larger models.