Much of the eastern part of the world has been traversing difficult terrain for over forty years in the UAZ 469. Designed as a military vehicle in the 1970s, it was also later turned into a civilian vehicle, the UAZ Hunter, which is still being manufactured today, more or less unchanged.
But if you like the shape and capability of the Hunter and don’t much fancy its agricultural powertrain, there is a Czech company that will be able to help you out. MW Motors does EV conversions for the Hunter and the resulting vehicle is actually pretty great at going off-road, as Jonny Smith found out in this video for his YouTube channel, The Late Brake Show.
MW Motors says it can equip the electric Hunter with either 56 kWh or 90 kWh (usable capacity) battery packs and only one electric motor option, with 120 kW (160 horsepower) and 600 Nm (442.5 pound-feet) of torque. Claimed range for the smaller of the two batteries is 240 km (150 miles), average electricity consumption is rated at 25.4 kWh/100km (about 2.45 miles/kWh) and its top speed is limited to 130 km/h (81 mph).
The vehicle retains much of its original four-wheel drive system, the five-speed gearbox, the two-speed transfer case and all in it weighs just under 2 tons. The battery doesn’t impede on passenger space, so it can still carry five people and it is also rated to tow up to 2.5 tons.
Pricing for the MW Motors Spartan EV starts at €39,900, according to the official website, but you can bring that up with options. When trying to configure our own Spartan EV, we didn’t find the option to select the larger of the battery packs, so that will surely make the vehicle quite a bit more expensive.