All manner of traditional ICE vehicles are making the move to electric, and the collaboration between Polaris and Zero Motorcycles is finally bearing fruit, as a new Ranger EV side-by-side readies for launch. It’s the first product to emerge from the partnership, and already looks quite promising from a series of videos that Polaris has published.
It should be no surprise, but a modern EV powertrain offers many of the benefits to side-by-sides that it would for a car. It’ll offer more power, with usable torque low on the curve. We can see how that might be handy for tasks like towing or plowing, not to mention quick acceleration.
Acceleration and deceleration are more controllable too, according to Polaris. The latter part of that equation is helped with regenerative braking like you’d find on any Prius or Tesla. If the throttle and braking work as advertised, that could allow for finer modulation when traversing challenging surfaces like rocks or slopes, or even for backing up to a trailer.
Polaris also says that the weight distribution has been optimized, and that the power-to-weight ratio will be superior to any utility side-by-side on the market. The company claims a new level of durability, thanks to fewer moving parts in the electric powertrain over its ICE counterpart. As a result, there’s less maintenance involved and Polaris thinks that’ll return the lowest cost of ownership of any of its rivals.
Finally, the Ranger EV will be quiet, which has notable advantages when working with animals or around nature. We wonder if that’ll be a pro or con to RZR customers.
Speaking of which, Polaris promises some kind of EV variant in all of its product ranges by 2025. The Zero partnership seems to have yielded a much more promising product than the Ranger EV it’ll replace. That one used previous generation lead-acid battery technology as opposed to the new lithium-ion pack. Currently, Zero has three different powertrains available, between 3.6 and 14.4 kWh capacity and with 46, 60 or 70 horsepower.
Polaris hasn’t said how much power and range the Ranger EV will have. We could see the latter being an issue if customers use their side-by-side all day in remote areas. In any case, we’ll know more closer to the release date of December 2021.