Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Polaris and Zero Motorcycles team up to make electric off-road vehicles and snowmobiles

By Andrew J. Hawkins
The Verge

September 29, 2020 — Santa Cruz, CA

(Photo source: Xinhua/Zou Zheng via Getty Images)

10-year exclusive partnership to manufacture electric power sports vehicles: By partnering with Zero, Polaris hopes to add new electric vehicles to its core product line of off-road and power sports vehicles

Minnesota-based power sports outfit Polaris is teaming up with Zero Motorcycles to co-develop electric vehicles, including ATVs and snowmobiles. The two companies have signed an “exclusive, 10-year agreement,” which Polaris said will help kick off an effort to have an electric version of every vehicle type the company offers by 2025. 

Polaris makes a variety of off-road vehicles, including the popular RZR lineup as well as garish three-wheelers like the Slingshot. It also owns Indian Motorcycle, which it acquired in 2011. California-based Zero, which was founded in 2006, currently has nine electric motorcycles in its product lineup, including the recently released SR/S. Both companies hope to seize upon what they think has been an overlooked market for electrification, starting with off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. 

Polaris CEO Scott Wine said the goal is to develop vehicles that are not only attractive on their own merits, but actually superior to their combustion engine counterparts. “The vision that I have is that any customer that wants to buy an electric powertrain product in power sports can buy it from us,” Wine told The Verge, “though it’s going to take us a while to get there.”

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