Powersports Vehicles Do Their Part When Disaster Strikes

When a natural disaster strikes, officials must coordinate the deployment of search and rescue operations, which often includes the use of powersports vehicles to maneuver through a variety of unpredictable terrains. The response to Hurricane Ian provides many recent examples. For instance, The Fort Meyers News-Press reported on a 95-year-old woman being rescued from her home by a firefighter in a two-seat buggy.

 Most powersports vehicles, such as Personal Watercraft (PWC), All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Utility Task Vehicles (UTVs), dune and golf buggies, motorcycles and snowmobiles, are equipped with batteries. In addition to cranking the engine, a dependable, fully-charged battery is also essential for powering all the vehicle’s onboard accessories, like lighting, winches, communications systems, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and mobile device chargers, which can enhance an operators search and rescue efforts in the event of a natural disaster.

 Powersports vehicles are typically exposed to rugged conditions. PWC, for example, encounter salt water, debris, marine life and high temperatures. Snowmobiles, on the other hand, typically endure icy conditions and low temperatures. To perform in these environments, the battery must tolerate extremes in temperature, high-impact shock, mechanical vibration and prevent spillage if the vehicle tips over. Batteries that are made of Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) construction, like ODYSSEY® batteries, pack the plates tightly in absorbent glass mat separators that hold the electrolyte, and are sealed to prevent leaking. Virtually maintenance-free ODYSSEY® batteries also protect against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration, two common causes of battery failure.

ODYSSEY® batteries offer an advancement in AGM construction over other designs with proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, which features pure lead plates that can be made thinner than those in conventional flooded lead acid batteries. When plates are thinner, more fit into the same sized footprint to provide greater surface area. This enables more electrochemical reactions with the electrolyte to produce more power than conventional batteries of comparable size. TPPL technology also enables ODYSSEY® batteries to provide deep-cycle reserve power for onboard accessories and engine cranking pulses up to 3,125 amps for 5 seconds, as much as triple that of equally sized conventional flooded lead acid batteries. Their operating temperatures range from as low as -40ºF (-40ºC) to as high as 176ºF (80ºC).

EnerSys® recently added three of the most popular sizes for powersports vehicles to the premium ODYSSEY® battery portfolio. The three models, ODS-AGM14 (Group size BTX14), ODS-AGM20L (Group size BTX20L) and ODS-AGM30L (Group size BTX30L), are ideal for a variety of popular vehicles, like Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and Polaris® ATVs. They can also be used in other powersports vehicles, such as snowmobiles and PWC. All three models feature a drop-in fit, so no accessories are needed for installation, and are the first in these group sizes to be available with TPPL technology.

 Powersports vehicles are typically used for recreation, but also are included in commercial and municipal fleets. In addition to the PWCs and buggies that were reported to be used for evacuating flood victims from Hurricane Ian, other types of powersports vehicles are used for emergencies. Law enforcement uses motorcycles to negotiate heavy traffic and rescuers use snowmobiles to reach isolated communities that are rendered otherwise inaccessible by excessive snow and ice. To ensure that they are ready when needed, it is imperative to keep the battery fully charged when idle or in storage, inspect regularly for dirt, damage and low charge, and use a premium battery like ODYSSEY® powersports batteries. As always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper battery maintenance and care and direct any questions to your battery professional.

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EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Energy Systems, which combine enclosures, power conversion, power distribution and energy storage, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies and numerous applications. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles requiring stored energy solutions. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. With the NorthStar acquisition, EnerSys has solidified its position as the market leader for premium Thin Plate Pure Lead batteries, which are sold across all three lines of business. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at


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