Big news in the recreational and utility vehicle world today as snowmobile, side-by-side and Slingshot maker Polaris has inked a 10-year partnership with the Zero Motorcycles, a worldwide leader in electric motorcycle design and production.
To be clear, Polaris is not going to start selling Zero motorcycles at Polaris dealerships. The partnership will initially be focused on bringing electrification to other products in the Polaris lineup, including their market-leading side-by-side four-wheelers and, yes, snowmobiles. But never say never.
Electric vehicles are not new to Minnesota-based Polaris. A decade ago, Polaris invested in the upstart Oregon company Brammo as they tried to achieve the ambitious goal of bringing a full-blooded, full-size and feature-packed EV to market: the Empulse electric motorcycle. At the time, Polaris already offered an
Harley Davidson’s first electric motorcycle dubbed the Livewire is viewed by many in the motorcycle industry as a dud.
But that doesn’t mean electric motorcycles are consigned to being dead on arrival simply because the industry Goliath fell flat on its face. In fact, with so much focus on how to prevent climate change — and considering advancements in battery technology — it’s likely electric motorcycles begin to flood the market over the next decade.
“It has a lot of great benefits. The biggest thing with that is technology has now caught up to the idea which is great. So these things go further and faster and they work better and don’t break down. Even some of the cheaper bikes out there are holding up and doing what they are supposed to do which is get you basically from point A to point B without leaving you stranded.