Polaris Sees Our Tweet Decrying Absence of Electric ATVs for Adults, Calls Emergency Meeting
Updated: Mar 23, 2022
If you're an avid reader of the Electric Off-Roaders Alliance™ news feed, then you may have read our article from last February about the depressing lack of adult-sized electric ATVs on the market. But you probably didn't. Just to re-open old wounds, we recently tweeted into the emptiness of the twitterverse a stone-cold reminder that you still can't get your hands on an electric ATV for adults.
In the aforementioned tweet, which we subsequently faxed to Polaris headquarters, we called out some of the big-name manufacturers including Honda, Yamaha, Tesla, and of course Polaris for the utterly insufferable ignorance that has led us into the year 2022 without so much as one full-sized electric ATV from any of them. Well, it seems the echoes of tweet - or perhaps its facsimile - reached the appropriate ears and eyes at Polaris Inc., leading them to see the error of their ways. In short order, the big wigs called an emergency investor meeting to address the shortcoming. In this meeting Polaris attempted to calm their investors, all of whom were in a big ballyhoo over our tweet, with the following (emphasis mine):
While innovation has been part of our DNA from the beginning, our electrification and connected vehicle initiatives represent an incredible opportunity to exceed customers’ expectations in powersports, and the recent launch of the Ranger XP Kinetic is the first example of how we plan to lead in these areas.
In essence here, what they're saying is that more electric off-roaders are on the way, which we've known all along since they announced their partnership with Zero Motorcycles. The important bit, however, was in what they showed at the meeting, including the images below.
Mhmmm... Just what do we have here? Enhance. ENHANCE!
Bingo! I give you the future all-electric Polaris Sportsman, ladies and gents.
Now, I'm not really sure what the zebra-stripe camo is supposed to be hiding here, but I've seen all that I need to see. This is what appears to be solid, tangible evidence that Polaris has indeed begun testing an all-electric ATV for honest-to-God ADULTS! Finally. They even went and said so themselves:
[Polaris continues to invest] in research and development to drive innovation for its riders... and furthering electric vehicle options with a strategic and targeted approach that centers on the customer. Polaris is testing electric prototypes broadly across its product platforms but will commercialize purposefully where electrification improves the customer experience.
It would make logical sense for the follow-up to the all-electric Ranger XP Kinetic to be an all-electric quad to round out their Sportsman line-up. Sadly, I fear it's going to be similarly positioned as a top-tier offering. Currently, the top-dog Sportsman starts at about $14,500. That's big money for a four-wheeler if you ask me; but based on the pricing structure for their Ranger line-up, I'm expecting pricing for the electric Polaris Sportsman to start in that neighborhood. It's a little rich for my blood, but let's hope they prove me wrong.
The quiet elephant in the dark and distant corner of the room is the competition from overseas. Yamaha, Honda, KTM, and Piaggio have all been working together on standardized, swappable batteries for electric mopeds and motorcycles since early last year. While scooters and street-going motorcycles are all fine and dandy, well, they just don't off-road that well. But with a standardized removable battery system that would be equally suited to electric off-road vehicles (EORVs) like UTVs, ATVs, and the like, I hypothesize that, before the summer is out, we'll see a handful of EORV announcements from other big players, including KTM, Honda, and Yamaha.
In fact, I'd bet my biscuits on it.