Polaris in Zero Motorcycles EV partnership
Polaris says that this "transformative partnership" will combine "Polaris' industry leadership with Zero's proven technology in electric powertrains" with co-development of the first of several electric vehicles to debut by the end of 2021 already underway.
'rEV'd up' aims to "position Polaris as the powersports EV leader" with the plan to be in a position to offer customers an electric vehicle option within each of its core product segments by 2025.
"Thanks to advancements in power, pricing and performance over the last several years, and with customer interest surging, now is the right time for Polaris, with Zero Motorcycles as a key strategic partner, to implement our 'rEV'd up' initiative and aggressively accelerate our position in powersports electrification," said Scott Wine, Chairman and CEO of Polaris.
"Zero Motorcycles' pioneering electrification experience, proven leadership and electric powertrain technologies are unmatched in the market. We believe this transformative partnership will enable us to leapfrog technological hurdles around range and cost while providing a tremendous speed-to-market advantage - an instant offense. Leveraging the strengths of our teams and a shared culture of innovation and passion for this industry, Polaris and Zero will collaborate to shape the future of powersports."
For Zero Motorcycles CEO Sam Paschel is quoted as saying: "All of us at Zero Motorcycles are delighted and honored to be a part of this industry-changing strategic relationship with Polaris as we collaborate and co-develop the technologies and vehicle platforms that will power the future of electrification in powersports.
"This revolutionary partnership is bringing together two incredibly talented teams aimed at dramatically expanding the electric options in powersports. Our EV expertise and millions of miles of real-world, rubber-meets-the-road EV experience, coupled with Polaris' broad product portfolio, scale, supply chain and market leadership, makes this a game-changer for every powersports enthusiast."
Polaris went on to say that "with our scale and broad product line-up, this strategic partnership will be the largest in Zero Motorcycles' history. Under this 10-year exclusive agreement, Polaris will develop, manufacture and sell electrified ORVs and snowmobiles using Zero's powertrain technology, hardware and software. Zero Motorcycles has been designing, manufacturing and advancing electric motorcycles since 2006, and this partnership gives Polaris access to more than 14 years of unmatched experience and intellectual property.
"Zero Motorcycles is the only motorcycle company to successfully bring an entire electric product line to market and is regarded as the leader in motorcycle EV technologies, subsystems, components and designs.
"As the global leader in powersports with nearly a decade in the electric vehicle space, Polaris is well positioned to accelerate the development of its premium electric vehicle offering across its product lines and to lead the powersports industry in electrification. Building on Polaris' past experience in electric, 'rEV'd up' will accelerate customers across Polaris' positioning within the industry by launching a new electric option to each of its core business segments by 2025.
"rEV'd up' is about more than just having a presence in the electric vehicle space; this is about leveraging the next generation of technology to develop industry-leading electric offerings within the right vehicle segments for our riders and our business. This is about taking a bold step to do big things," said Wine. "With over $1bn in electric vehicle sales over the past decade, we have built a valuable foundation in both the commercial and passenger vehicle markets. By leveraging capable partners, like Zero, we will expand on that groundwork to profitably deliver electric vehicles with the range, value and performance characteristics that both existing and prospective customers want."
Polaris' past and current product portfolio includes several electric options. In 2011, Polaris acquired both Goupil, a French manufacturer of on-road, commercial light duty electric vehicles for the European market, and GEM street-legal passenger and utility electric vehicles. Four years later, the company acquired Brammo Electric Motorcycles whose technology was leveraged in the RANGER EV. The RANGER EV was one of the first electric vehicles in the off-road industry and is the No. 1 selling electric off-road vehicle in North America to date. With its broad range of electric commercial and industrial vehicles, Taylor-Dunn was acquired by Polaris in 2016.