E-Waste Becomes An Electric ATV

An electronics recycler that says it is “working to keep 100% of e-waste out of landfills” has come up with a novel way to meet that goal: It’s making all-terrain electric vehicles out of the discarded stuff.

This is the intriguing news from RMD Technologies, a San Marcos, Calif.-based company that put out a press release heralding the completion of the UTE, for Utility Terrain Electric. Details about the vehicle are sketchy, but one thing that pops out is the price claim from CEO Patrick Galliher: “With the ability to utilize recycled electronic waste in the manufacture of the Utility Terrain Electric,” he says, “we are able to keep the price extremely competitive, with a base price of only $9,995.”

UTE all-terain electric vehicle

image via RMD Technologies

In its angularity, the UTE bears a slight resemblance to the early-1970s Volkswagen Type 181, aka “Thing” (it’s the vehicle Patty and Selma drive in “The Simpson’s”). RMD cites a “robust 72 volt ADC Motor, controller and transaxle combination,”  General Grabber AT2 all-terrain tires, 6061 Aluminum “never-rust” ladder frame, a lightweight fiber-reinforced polymer body and suspension seats from PRP. No word on battery or charging details, but RMD does tell of a “supplemental solar charging option.”

As for when the UTE might be available to consumers, Galliher said completion of the vehicle will allow RMD “to rapidly thrust from the R&D stage into an aggressive sales phase which will position us to begin filling orders soon.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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