An increasing number of motorcycle manufacturers are joining forces to fight for common goals, including in the field of electrical technology. Increasingly stringent economic standards and additional preferences for manufacturers of environmentally friendly vehicles are encouraging motor brands to switch to innovative powertrains.
For example, the Big Four of Japan recently announced the results of their alliance, formed back in 2019 to accelerate the development of environmentally friendly solutions. KTM has partnered with Indian motorcycle giant Bajaj in a similar deal to work together on electric vehicles. And recently in America, two purely American brands have struck an important deal in the same field.
Polaris and Zero Motorcycles partnership
Multi-instrumentalist Polaris announces a recent 10-year partnership with Zero Motorcycles, a Californian brand we all know for making iconic electric bikes. This agreement is part of Polaris’ long-term strategy to “to make the Company a leader in the electrification of motorsport”… The plan is simple: use the Zero powertrains and their software and hardware to fit the entire line of Polaris electric ATVs and snowmobiles. The press release says the manufacturer plans to introduce electric versions of all of its core products by 2025, with the first samples as early as 2021.
With advances in power, pricing and performance over the past few years, as well as growing consumer interest, it is time for Polaris, with Zero Motorcycles as a strategic partner, to pursue our strategic rEV’d up initiative and aggressively elevate our position in the electrification of motorsport – Polaris CEO and Chairman Scott Vine wrote. “We believe this partnership will allow us to bypass technological barriers, in particular range and price, and provide us with a tremendous advantage in speed to market.
At the moment, the segments in which the joint developments of Polaris and Zero Motorcycles are planned are buggies (UTV), ATVs (ATV) and snowmobiles. – that is, products sold under the Polaris brand and not under the subsidiary brands. A Zero spokesman confirmed that the agreements currently concern “exclusively for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles” – which means that if something like enduro or cross-country does not appear in the Indian lineup, there is no need to wait for the electric Indians yet.
By the way, Polaris have already tried their hand at the electric vehicle market and even acquired Brammo Electric Motorcycles in 2015, which allowed them to create the Ranger EV all-terrain vehicle. The new partnership appears to indicate that the company has serious plans to expand its range of electric off-road vehicles.