Polaris building an EV empire in the small-vehicle world

Polaris Industries, the king of off-road vehicles, has made a hefty investment in electric motorcycle maker Brammo, the companies announced this week. It’s a strategic move for both players, as Polaris gains access to Brammo’s battery and powertrain technology to develop EV versions of their ATVs and snowmobiles, and Brammo gets the cash and distribution contacts it needs to scale up in a big way.

“Brammo and its partners are combining forces to gain dominance in the EV power sports market,” said Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher. “We now have the ability to maintain our high standards of quality while we innovate and commercialize at speed, and this enables us to better serve our customers and build a sustainable advantage.”

 

               

 

In April, Polaris announced that it would buy Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) from Chrysler. GEM makes those sporty little open vehicles that you may have seen ferrying partiers around in “nightlife districts,” or straining under the weight of a security guard in a mall parking lot. These “low-speed vehicles” or “neighborhood electric vehicles” are street legal on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. GEM makes six models, which can carry from two to six passengers, and have top speeds of 25 mph and a range of up to 30 miles.

 

 

Images: Brammo & GEM