At this year's Overland Expo East we caught up with Michael Uhlarik, Head of Design with Potential Motors to do a tour of their electric 'Adventure 1' vehicle that had it's worldwide debut at the event. This rig walkaround is one of a kind, featuring a breakout project that is pushing the boundaries of traditional automotive categories.
While this powerful electric vehicle technically falls into the category of a UTV or ORV, the proof of concept is a fascinating one. For the adventure seekers with bigger budgets this could be towed along to base camp and then serve as a secondary mode to deeper off-road exploration. Is Potential Motors forging a path to the future of off-road travel? Could these even be stationed for rent at key outdoor destinations (state parks?) that will allow for a more nature immersive experience for all? While high volume production is not Potential's vision, this kind of future for off-roading definitely seems plausible.
With all-wheel drive, 600+ horsepower, two electric motors, 700+ ft lbs of torque, 100 mile off-road range, this unique rig has the chops to handle even the toughest terrain. It also comes equipped with 'Off-Road OS' software to help with on-the-fly adaptation to changes in the trail. This 'brain' of the suspension system proactively adjusts the driving experience for optimal comfort and performance.
The Adventure 1 also features some interesting creature comforts, with a built in slide-out kitchen, reconfigurable seats, an integrated full-size bed for sleeping two, and 40 litres of integrated water storage. While this is a more compact vehicle when you compare it to a full-size expedition rig, it has ample interior storage.
Last but not least, in addition to plugging in, it can also be charged when towed and a backup propane generator can be used in case of a low power emergency to get back to civilization.
All-in-all, it seems reliable and well thought out, but with a very small production run planned, and high price tag, this seems like a boutique offering for a very small niche. Still, if this niche continues to grow they may be on to something.
One final thought: we were impressed with this visionary effort to electrify the UTV world, but it does remind us a little of another Canadian automotive misfit from back in the day. Hopefully, Potential's Adventure 1 will come out light years beyond the Bricklin SV1's fate. The future belongs to the dreamers ;)