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Polaris to release new electric off-road vehicle in 2021, with more to come

The Minnesota-based company says it will offer an electric vehicle in each of its core product segments by 2025.

Polaris will start making electric vehicles after inking a deal with Zero Motorcycles.

The Medina-based company on Tuesday announced it has signed a 10-year deal with Zero Motorcycles, a leader in electric motorcycle powertrains and technology, to develop, manufacture and sell electric off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. 

Polaris will use Zero Motorcycle's technology, hardware and software, with the company noting that Zero Motorcycles is the only company that's successfully brought an entire electric product line to market. 

“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," Scott Wine, chairman and CEO of Polaris, said in a statement. 

This deal is part of Polaris' "rEV'd up" initiative to make it a leader in Powersports electrification, with the goal of offering an electric vehicle option within each of its core product segments by 2025, with the first one coming out by the end of 2021. 

Wine notes that advancements in power, pricing and performance, as well as increasing customer interest, has made this the right time to implement its rEV'd up initiative. 

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“rEV’d up is about more than just having a presence in the electric vehicle space; this is about leveraging the next generation of technology to develop industry-leading electric offerings within the right vehicle segments for our riders and our business. This is about taking a bold step to do big things,” Wine said. 

“With over $1 billion in electric vehicle sales over the past decade, we have built a valuable foundation in both the commercial and passenger vehicle markets," he added. "By leveraging capable partners, like Zero, we will expand on that groundwork to profitably deliver electric vehicles with the range, value and performance characteristics that both existing and prospective customers want.” 

Polaris already has released some electric vehicles. In 2011, Polaris acquired Goupil (on-road, commercial light-duty electric vehicles in the European market) and GEM (street-legal passenger and utility electric vehicles). In 2015, it acquired Brammo Electric Motorcycles, which Polaris leveraged in its Ranger EV – one of the first electric vehicles in the off-road industry. 

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