Potential Motors’ Pint-Sized Adventure 1 EV Extends Off-Road Roaming Range

Ethel Walsh

There are some places even an EarthRoamer just can’t go, and if you must reach Transcendence Point overlooking the Valley of Nirvana, then the Adventure 1 EV from Potential Motors is just the thing to get you there.

I’m always looking for odd, unusual and interesting “things” and vehicles, especially if they are electric, and the $136,600 Adventure 1 ticks pretty much every box. It’s definitely different, small but roomy, a bit odd but also very appealing, and packed with tech goodness – and a bed.

Looking very much like a Japanese “Kei” car, the Adventure 1 EV is an all-electric off-highway adventure pod sporting some impressive numbers: 604 horsepower and over 700 pound feet of torque from two electric motors, four wheel drive, an advanced road-handling suspension system and operating OS, and a claimed 100 miles of off-road roaming range.

And while those sound like Tesla-level performance numbers, the key words here are “off road.” As in, this is not a highway-legal vehicle, it’s a towable (or trailerable or toy-hauler carryable) OHV or UTV, much like a Polaris RZR side-by-side. Potential says the Adventure 1 is “licensed as a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) or OHV (Off Highway Vehicle), meaning it can be driven on off-road trails, and can be driven anywhere except highways in many states.” This doesn’t mean it’s street legal everywhere, but many rural communities now allow UTV and OHV side-by-sides on public roads, often with some minor modifications (such as a license plate and proper lighting). If you have visions of parking one in your driveway and using it to get to work and back, it’s a good idea to check with your local DMV to see what’s allowed in your area. Let’s just say regulations can vary very widely from state to state, and even town to town.

But head off the pavement? Now you’re in the Adventure 1’s big sandbox of fun. With that much torque on tap, skinny 64-inch width, aggressive tread, almost 13 inches of ground clearance and generous approach, breakover and departure allowances, there aren’t many places the Adventure 1 can’t reach. Basically, if there’s a two-track trail that leads to where you want to go, the Adventure 1 can likely make it in fine form. Being as thin as it is, it can likely get to places other OHV rigs can’t manage.

Key to this ability is Potential’s Off-Road OS, a predictive suspension program that Potential says “adjusts damping and stiffness proactively for maximum performance and comfort through any conditions. Off-Road OS reads your terrain and feeds information back to the ECU in real time, delivering a seamless, optimized driving experience on any terrain.”

Sounds pretty plush, and at this point, we’ll have to take their word for it, but while many EV makers pass around computer renders of their planned products, Potential has actually constructed a working Adventure 1 prototype (above), which has been making the rounds at the Overland Expo this past summer. At some point, we are hoping to take one for a spin, hopefully in Oregon’s sprawling back country.

When that happens, we’ll be able to get up close with the Adventure 1’s many amenities, including a slide-out kitchen setup, full-size rear sleeping quarters, and a propane heater. The Adventure 1 carries 40 liters of water and has room a lot of gear, and despite the skinny profile Potential says the down-low placement of the battery and smart suspension system keep it from being tippy. Also, if you accidentally over-drive your battery’s range while out on the range, there’s an emergency backup generator that runs on propane to recharge in place. How long it takes and how much power it can supply are not yet specified, but it’s good to know there’s a Plan B if need be.

Interested? Don’t wait too long to pull the trigger. At $137,000 per, Potential isn’t going to cranking these out like Ford Fiestas. Production will be very limited, according to Potential. It could be the perfect toy to park in your toy hauler.

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