Why You Should Off Road with an Electric Vehicle This Season

From increased ground clearance to precise torque delivery to ample gear storage, there are many benefits to hitting the trail in an EV.

electric car charging with wind turbines
ViaframeGetty Images

Sure, you can hit the snow trails in the winter, but as the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, we say it's officially off-road season. Is there anything quite like navigating a rocky, challenging terrain in your beloved truck? We love a vintage Rangie or FJ as much as the next trail junkie but, though it feels somewhat counterintuitive, electric vehicles (EVs) often have an edge over gas and diesel rigs. So, this year might be the year to elevate your offroading experience with a next-gen 4x4.


Range anxiety is, essentially, a worry of the past for electric vehicle owners. Most models today are capable of taking you to your favorite off-road trail and back. We've even suggested EVs will cut it as the new road trip car. Most leading EV products – including rigs that can tackle any trail internal combustion can manage – offer a range of at least 250 miles, and some achieve well into the 300s. (Plug-in hybrids are also an option in the off-roading space; battery-only ranges are often more than ample to tackle challenging terrain.)


detail of a hand plugging the cord into an electric car, to charge the battery in the garage outside a home concept of electric car charging, renewable energy, sustainability and transport
DBenitostockGetty Images

Typical off-roaders are almost always gas-guzzlers, but on top of the fuel and emissions savings, EVs are almost universally as (if not more) capable than their ICE brethren. Off-roading requires reliable acceleration and a great deal of torque; EVs provide immense torque and linear power delivery, making them an excellent tool for any trail job. All- and four-wheel-drive systems in EVs are in most cases smarter (and thus more capable) than mechanical, gas-driven setups. This is because many EVs feature individual motors on each driven wheel, providing very precise power adjustment and traction control. Lastly, because there is no massive, monolithic gas engine to tip-toe around, EVs generally feature more usable ground clearance than old-school vehicles. Long story short: EV's are just as capable off-road as ICE vehicles are, and they do it without making (much) noise at all. Sounds pretty ideal right?

Cargo Space

In addition to traditional trunks, EVs usually feature a “frunk,” short for 'front trunk,' under the hood (because there’s no engine there), so EVs have more cargo space than traditional vehicles. The most popular and highly anticipated EV trucks and SUVs feature frunks that range from 11 cubic feet up to 14 cubic feet. For reference, this case of water bottles takes up 11 cubic feet; regardless of what you're stowing, pack your frunk with overlanding necessities that'll make off-road life a cinch.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Motoring