Long known for machines that help you enjoy the out of doors, I sat down with Donna Beadle their Sr. External Relations Specialist to talk about what they brought to CES this year. Since 2010 they have had alternative fuel vehicles but this year they have introduced their RANGER EV Li-on which is the first Lithium Ion solution by a major off road vehicle manufacturer.
This was designed for the hunting community who needed a quiet off road vehicle and with three times the battery lifespan of traditional acid batteries. They also showed off their Victory Emplulse TT an American built electric bike that can charge in as little as 3.9 hours with a range of 95 miles.
Addtionally they GEM Low Speed vehicles that offer more comfort and built in safety features than a golf cart and is more agile and economical than a van or truck operating for .03 cents per mile operating cost.
More from Polaris below, and keep listening to Craig Peterson’s Tech Talk.
Donna Beadle has worked at Polaris for 10 years handling public relations initiatives for the company’s off-road division. She also manages Polaris Off-Road Race team. She enjoys anything with wheels and rides both off-road and on-road vehicles.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2014 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory® and Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot® brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin®, Cycle Country® and Pro Armor® brands.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing Date: February 6, 2016
Craig Peterson: Off-roading is something really, really popular. Of course, different times of year you’re going out into the woods for different reasons. And Polaris is one of the vendors that has some of the best off-road vehicles. I’ve used them before. I have a lot of friends that have them. Use them for hunting. Use them for exploring. Use them for all kinds of things. Well Polaris now has a new line where they’re using electricity to drive these. Now that’s really good for hunters. Keeps them always down. And it’s good for people who really wanna have a low impact. They also have a new vehicle that’s for the road as well. So we’ll be talking about that with both Donna and Brandon. Welcome.
Donna Beadle: Thank you. Welcome.
Brandon Beadle: Thank you.
Craig: Now, let’s talk a little bit about the history first of all. Polaris, been around for quite a while and is well known for a lot of off-road vehicles.
Donna: Yeah, we’ve been around quite a long time. Over 60 years and we started as a snow mobile company and now we have off-road vehicles, on-road vehicles, and commercial vehicles
Craig: Alright. And this whole electric vehicle craze that’s kinda taking over is for what reason here? What are the advantages to having some of these off-road vehicles in electric? I mentioned that they’re quieter
Donna: Quieter is one of the biggest reasons. A lot of our people like to hunt, so it’s obviously for hunters that’s a great idea. There’s a lot of municipalities that are actually going towards LSV units. So that’s another reason. And people want them. So you know, where the demand is, that’s what we’re gonna build.
Craig: That makes a lot of sense. And of course, we’re talking about 4-wheel drive vehicles when we’re talking about the off-road, and they usually, they have a like a little, what, trunk? What do you call that on the back? Like a bed right?
Donna: Like a bed. Yup. It’s a cargo bed for the off-road vehicles. But we also have electric on-road vehicles as well so.
Craig: Which includes motorcycles now as well as. Brandon, why don’t you tell us about the innovations here in the automotive side?
Brandon: Yeah, so we have the GEM electric vehicle. It’s an LSV classification by the federal government meaning these vehicles can drive on roads supposed to 35 mph or less. They have strict standard safety features that they have to abide by to be qualified for the on-road classification. You know, the big thing that we had for us was the sustainability factor. It’s very popular with the commercial markets like the colleges and universities and the governments who are mandating to go cleaner.
Craig: So, what kind of mileage can you get? I know that batteries have been improving but they’re not perfect yet either. Off-road?
Donna: For the EV lithium-ion, it gets up to a 50 mile of range.
Craig: Well that’s not bad at all. How about on the on-road side?
Brandon: For the GEM side, it varies on the vehicles. We have a bunch of different sized vehicles. Though it’s a hard one to answer because of the range, because of the weight differences and the payload, grades, temperatures, you know everything that goes along with the batteries will affect the range.
Craig: Now, Polaris is known for these off-road vehicles again. All kinds of them, by the way. Not just the 4 wheelers. What’s the on-road vehicle like? Obviously it’s not the same as something you take into the woods.
Brandon: It’s definitely not. You know this vehicle’s in a different class of its own so we’re gonna talk about on-road vehicles, I think most people will probably associate more with the, you know like the Brammo Impulse motorcycles and stuff. Or what we’re using which is, you know, more the low speed stuff that’s gonna be more strictly in city. You know the biggest thing is there’s absolutely no noise to it. So people definitely get shocked when suddenly, someone’s driving by them and they didn’t even hear it coming. You know it’s fun, you get a lot of looks. It’s actually really exciting.
Craig: Yeah, it is. I like the way it’s going. Lithium ion. Great battery, a lot of power and a little bit of space which is good too. It gets you the mileage and longevity too. You get a lot of cycles out of these batteries. Anything else you guys like to add?
Donna: Just that we’re excited to be here and our off-road vehicles are just continually innovating so we have a lot of more cool things coming up as well.
Craig: Now, Polaris.com, I assume. Good people to start looking?
Donna: Definitely. You’ll find information on all of our vehicles at Polaris.com.
Craig: Alright, and retailers all over the place as well.
Donna: Yup. We are a global company so everywhere, everywhere you can think of we’re there.
Craig: Alright, Donna and Brandon, thanks for being with us.
Brandon: Thank you.