If you've been reading RideApart lately, you've undoubtedly seen our coverage on BRP's—Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Lynx, and Ski-Doo's parent company—push toward electrification. The company that hails from the Great White North has dropped EV snowmobiles, will debut two electric motorcycles later this summer, and just recently patented an EV jet ski and another EV motorcycle

But this patent, dredged up by Autoblog, takes the company in a completely different direction. A direction that I don't exactly understand. See, BRP just patented ... an EV car. Wait, what?

You read that right, as BRP has filed a patent that cannot be confused with anything other than it being a fully electric car. It has an enclosed body, doors, a skateboard chassis, and even headlights, brake lights and seats four. It sort of looks like a Nissan Pao, if you're familiar with the Japanese domestic market kei car. 

But again, why? Let's dive into the details and maybe we can figure out what this patent is for and whether or not BRP and Can-Am are getting in on the electric car craze sweeping the planet, because maybe they are, maybe they aren't. 

Can-Am EV Car
Can-Am EV Car
Can-Am EV Car

The patent itself is titled "Two-Door Vehicle" and looks like a car would, i.e. something road-worthy, and right from the get-go, it makes BRP's intent pretty clear. "The present technology relates to vehicles, more specifically to two-door electric automobiles," it states, seemingly putting to rest any question of the company's design. It continues, adding further fuel to the fire, "Passenger vehicles, specifically automobiles, generally come in two-door and four-door arrangements." 

Furthermore, "The present vehicle is built on a skateboard electric chassis, which has a generally flat top surface. The floor of the passenger compartment is thus also generally flat, providing a flat bottom surface (floor) for the continuous storage space extending below the rear seats and forward under the front seats." 

So it's a fully electric car. Odd for a UTV, snowmobile, and jet ski manufacturer, but diversifying a brand's lineup could be one upside. The potential downsides being the highly stringent rules the govern automobile manufacturing. 

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There are rules for glass thickness, automotive-grade materials, crash-tests, seat belts, headlight height and distances, turn signals, and everything else that the governments around the world require just to make it road legal. But is that what's actually happening here?

Maybe, but a lot of the patent also talks about one part in particular: the doors. 

"For vehicles having two doors as well as two rows of seating, the front seats are generally arranged to be moved forward in order to permit passengers to enter into the passenger compartment and occupy the rear seats," the patent states, adding, "In some cases, the front seats fold and slide longitudinally in the passenger compartment. In other styles, the front seats may tip forward before or after sliding forward. Some such seats include system adjustment mechanisms for moving the front seats to provide the clearance required to access the rear seats, in some cases tipping or folding the front seats."

Can-Am EV Car
Can-Am EV Car
Can-Am EV Car

It goes on to state that, "The mechanisms required for fold/slide or tip/slide displaceable seats often require many moveable components, generally formed from metal. The mechanisms can thus be heavy, space- consuming, and in addition to adding to the overall cost increase in vehicle production. There thus remains a desire for vehicle arrangements addressing at least some of the above described disadvantages."

And that brings us to the actual part that this application is for, a door hinge that's not unlike a van's door, as it swings out, and then forward. What's more, the patent application's drawings are very detailed in terms of the cabin design, less so about the exterior of the vehicle. There are also what looks to be UTV seats, specifically Maverick-style seats, as well as a UTV-style adjustable steering column. Neither of those would likely pass any sort of on-road regulations. 

So what we could be looking at, then, is not an electric car, but rather a cabin and door design for a future electric UTV. Perhaps something to compete with not just Polaris' EV Ranger, but also with the brand's Xpedition model. Something that's enclosed and protected from the elements. 

At least, that seems more likely to me. 

I reached out to Can-Am for comment, but haven't heard back at the time of publishing. If I hear back, I'll update this story. But as for now, what do you all think? Is Can-Am really working on a mass-market two-door electric car, or is this a very cleverly disguised cabin for a future EV UTV? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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