Polaris goes electric with its all-terrain vehicles

Carbon emissions, while terrible for the environment, are also not ideal for deer hunting. Gasoline engines, it turns out, are a dead gift for many snipers; nor are they ideal with finicky cattle.

hat is part of Polaris Inc.’s lot this morning as it unveils an electric version of its Ranger all-terrain vehicle, a rural American staple and the best-selling product in the $ 7 billion motorsport empire. of business dollars. The battery-powered machine, officially dubbed the Ranger XP Kinetic, will not only be virtually silent, but about a third more powerful than similar models that still burn dead dinosaur glue; Polaris also estimates that the platform will be around 70% cheaper to maintain and maintain.

“This gives us the opportunity to expand the market and attract people who may not have come to space,” said CEO Mike Speetzen. “We think this will cannibalize some customers, but how much and how quickly remains to be seen.”

The new Polaris platform will be able to tow up to 2,500 pounds and transmit battery capacity in real time to a seven-inch infotainment display. Just like a Tesla, its software will occasionally be updated over the air. Those who forget where they parked will be able to locate their machine via an app.

The trade-off for the million Americans who buy an all-terrain vehicle each year is price. The new Ranger will cost between $ 25,000 and $ 30,000, while the entry price on the internal combustion model is only $ 11,000. Reach can also be a deterrent. The Quiet Polaris comes with two battery options, the larger of which will travel about 80 miles between charges; while Ranger owners with large tracts of land often attach auxiliary gasoline cans to their machines and travel hundreds of miles in a day.

Polaris is taking deposits on the vehicle now, although it does not plan to deliver any vehicles until this summer. The shift was designed, in part, to get a better idea of ​​demand. Speetzen is expecting a host of customers who haven’t yet purchased an all-terrain vehicle, including people who will opt for the Electric Ranger instead of a golf cart. Polaris also hopes to rack up orders from law enforcement, border patrol units and other government agencies that may be mandated to purchase zero-emission vehicles.

Last year, Polaris generated $ 4.2 billion in revenue from its all-terrain vehicles, far more than any other segment. While the company doesn’t plan to slow down its gasoline-powered products anytime soon, it is rapidly developing electric options thanks to a 10-year exclusive supplier agreement with Zero Motorcycles, an electric bike brand. Ultimately, consumers will be able to purchase a battery-powered version of virtually anything Polaris makes, from snowmobiles to Indian motorcycles.

Some of these machines, however, can take a long time to come. Cold weather, for example, takes a toll on battery capacity, as does the type of aggressive acceleration associated with some of the company’s high-powered bikes and all-terrain vehicles. “What I’m not going to do is just go out and electrify just to electrify,” Speetzen explained. “You’re going to see us heavily concentrated in the early years, around this utility space.”

About Keneth T. Graves

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