The first electric power sports vehicle to emerge from the new collaboration between Polaris and Zero Motorcycles will be a battery-powered Ranger utility side-by-side. The companies didn’t provide any details about the vehicle’s range, battery pack, or price, but they did say that production on the new UTV (or utility terrain vehicle) was expected to start in December 2021.
Ranger is the number one-selling brand in the Minnesota-based Polaris’ lineup of utility vehicles. More details are forthcoming, a spokesperson said, but the goal is to “build a better Ranger with more torque, more power, more hauling, the capabilities needed to give customers the advantage. Electric allows Polaris to do this.”
Polaris and Zero Motorcycles signed a 10-year agreement last year to produce a range of electric vehicles, including ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles. Both companies hope to seize upon what they think has been an overlooked market for electrification, starting with off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Ultimately, they hope to make an electric version of every type of vehicle in Polaris’ lineup by 2025.
“With the rising interest in electrified vehicles, we are investing in electrification in order to meet the needs of current customers as well as appeal to tomorrow’s power sports riders,” Mike Speetzen, Polaris’ interim CEO, said in a statement. “The all-new electric Ranger is our latest effort aimed at leading the industry forward in electrified power sports vehicles.”
Unlike ATVs, which are recognizable for their straddle-seated position and handlebar steering, UTVs are used more for work than recreation. The large, powerful vehicles are commonly used to haul equipment and supplies in locations that make using a truck impractical or impossible. They are also called side-by-sides because they can accommodate both a driver and a passenger.
Polaris’ gas-powered Rangers generally range (pun intended) in price between $20,000 and $22,000 and are popular vehicles with agriculture workers, hunters, and other outdoor lovers.
The electric Ranger is being designed and developed by Polaris and Zero at a facility in Wyoming, Minnesota, with manufacturing to take place at Polaris’ facility in Huntsville, Alabama. The first vehicles are expected to roll out to dealerships early next year.