October 19, 2020

Polaris And Zero Sign Deal To Partner For 10 Years

MINNEAPOLIS – Polaris and Zero Motorcycles announced this morning that they’ve signed an exclusive 10-year agreement to partner in the building of electric off-road vehicles and snowmobiles.

The announcement stated that co-development is already underway on “several” electric vehicles that will debut by the end of 2021.

Minnesota-based Polaris already builds ORVs and snowmobiles, while California-based Zero builds electric motorcycles and powertrains.

2020 Zero SRF electric motorcycle

The team-up is part of a “rEV’d up” strategy by Polaris “to position the company as a leader in powersports electrification.” The goal is “to offer customers an electric vehicle option within its core product segments by 2025.”

Whether Deal Will Stretch To Indian Isn’t Known

Whether this agreement will eventually stretch to Indian Motorcycle, a brand that is a division of Polaris, isn’t known. However, an electric model (or models) for Indian would seemingly be easy to accomplish.

Zero motorcycles range in price from $10,995 to $21,995 – thousands less than Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric model, which starts at $29,799. An electric Indian model using Zero’s technology could significantly undercut Harley-Davidson while still offering brand cachet.

A clue may be seen in yesterday’s announcement by Indian of an electric eFTR Jr. mini-bike. The existence of a “junior” suggests a “senior” is on the way in the form of a full-sized eFTR.

Zero Technology Will Go Into Polaris Products

Under the agreement, Polaris will develop, manufacture and sell electrified ORVs and snowmobiles using Zero’s powertrain technology, hardware and software, which has been nurtured over the past 14 years.

“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.

“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.”

Zero’s CEO called the partnership a “game-changer” for powersports enthusiasts.

“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,” said Zero Motorcycles CEO Sam Paschel. 

(Photos courtesy of Polaris and Zero)

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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