The boss of Polaris Industries has just announced that a new electric motorcycle is on the way. After closing down Victory Motorcycles, it seems like Polaris are directing Indian into the electric motorcycle market with a new model expected in the next four to five years. All of this news was (not formally) announced in a recent interview with Polaris company boss Steve Menneto by the Reuters news agency.
According to the interview, Polaris has plans for Indian to produce a new platform that has the range capabilities of around 120 to 140 miles on a single charge, can be ridden hard and aggressively, that’s aimed for shorter and more fun trips rather than city commuting or long distance touring. Can they manage it? We think they certainly can. If they’re careful, of course. And who wouldn’t want a Polaris electric bike?
What If The Polaris Electric Bike Project Combined The Best Of Victory AND Indian?
Victory were on to something with their Empulse idea. It was a short range racer with impressive performance statistics. The range was a little on the low side at a mere 75 miles per charge, but everything else was on the right track. Now, if that technology can be injected into something like…say the Indian Scout FTR750 flat track racer chassis, then they’re on to a winner. Imagine a powerful electric drivetrain mounted in an ultra-light steel frame and a carbon fiber body, whilst still retaining unmistakable Scout flat track racer aesthetic. That’s what we hope might happen…but you know how these go. We’ll probably receive something weird instead. But just imagine how awesome a combination of the bikes featured below could be….
It seems the development is still very much in its infancy though, so if we all make enough noise about it, perhaps we can steer Indian’s designers in the right direction before a concrete idea takes shape. The only real information that we’ve got from Polaris is what we can quote from the interview: “The characteristics of the new powertrain are going to be more applicable to be able to ride a bike for pleasure and in twisties, and kind of how you would use pleasure bikes today,” Steve Menneto said, and the fact that it’ll be delivered in the next four to five years. The company is an ideal position and definitely has the resource to build a Polaris electric motorcycle that appeals to the public, and in five years a lot can happen.
From a technological standpoint, four to five years offers plenty of time for new breakthroughs in battery technology, and quoting an achievable range capability from the outset is a wise idea…but even if Indian manage to crack the electric code, will American consumers be ready to jump on the electric bandwagon? Until the problem of range is solved once and for all, there’s still going to be a huge feeling of reluctance from potential buyers…
It seems like Indian and Harley-Davidson have great hopes for the evolution of battery technology over the next few years – because don’t forget Harley Davidson’s LiveWire project is due for public consumption around the same sort of time. Depending on what rights they’ve retained from the Mission Motors bankruptcy, at least. Either way, a Polaris electric motorcycle is coming, so stay tuned.