Maybe you want to go green off-road, or pretend that you’re in an ’80s action movie, or just want a unique toy for messing about. If any of those applies to you, check out this wild one-off Tesla-powered buggy from the EV conversion specialists at California-based Zelectric Motors.
First off, watch this video to see this EV baja beast in action:
Power comes from a full Tesla Model S P85 drivetrain, with an 85 kWh battery pack and a 535-horsepower motor. Given how the typical Class 10 buggy doesn’t weight a whole lot, this thing offers hilarious acceleration despite the added weight of a battery pack. Plus, that big battery pack is said to give this prerunner an off-road range of 200 miles despite having the aerodynamic sophistication of a shed.
Fox 3.5-inch quad-bypass rear dampers should soak up whoops and jumps like a ShamWow, while spherical joints locate the rear trailing arms and allow a free range of motion. The battery pack’s tucked nice and high in the frame to shield it from impacts, and there’s power steering to make low-speed maneuvers easier. The buggy even includes all its CAD files so you can fabricate replacement suspension arms and repair the chassis should you bin it.
The good stuff continues on the inside, where you’ll find a clear, legible LCD instrument cluster and a bevy of physical toggle switches, along with key safety equipment like a battery cut-off switch. There’s even a radio on board because things get loud in the desert. You get the sense that Zelectric Motors’ lead tech really thought about this project and did a proper job completing it.
So why buy an electric buggy over a gasoline-powered one? Well, there’s one big perk – it’s really easy to drive like an absolute jerk when nobody can hear you. A quiet sand rail could slide right under the noses of the general public, opening up a raft of testing opportunities. You could rip around an empty industrial estate you rent a unit in, get out in the desert before everyone at camp is awake, and really test out those Fox dampers without drawing any unwanted attention.
At $99,000 or best offer, the Moon Buggy isn’t cheap, but it seems like a bargain compared to a GMC Hummer EV, a similarly impractical off-road focused EV. For starters, it’s generally better to drive a tool than look like one, and the electric buggy is just cooler and more honed-in on the off-road experience than the Hummer is. In addition, you can easily pick up a tow rig, a trailer, and a used EV daily for the delta between the buggy and current Hummer resale values. That’s three awesome vehicles and a trailer for the price of one.
So, forget the latest and greatest in electric off-road luxury. Be a hero with this fabulous buggy, blasting through the sand. According to David Benardo of Zelectric Motors, the team “just need it out of our shop,” so it wouldn’t hurt to pitch a reasonable offer. If you do happen to have $99,000 burning a hole in your pocket, hop this link for more photos of the buggy and to get in touch with the seller.
(Photo credits: Zelectric Motors)
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