Polaris Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, announced it has donated two GEM electric vehicles to the Minnesota Zoo, the state’s largest zoo. The donated vehicles will be used to transport guests throughout the complex and for utility and ground maintenance.
"The Minnesota Zoo is a statewide treasure and we’re happy to provide electric vehicles that fit nicely into their indoor/outdoor environment," said Tim Blinkhorn, general manager, GEM. "These environmentally friendly vehicles will help safely transport guests and staff throughout the zoo. It’s a great day when we get to help a community asset while at the same time showcase the versatility of our GEM electric vehicles."
The donation, valued at more than $26,000, is part of a new partnership between Polaris and the Minnesota Zoo that looks to promote environmentally conscious behavior. The GEM vehicles have an all-electric, zero emissions operation that will provide a low-cost-of-ownership for the Minnesota Zoo. The GEM vehicles’ quiet operation is ideal for the Minnesota Zoo, as they will not disrupt the animals.
The Minnesota Zoo, located in Apple Valley, Minn., welcomes 1.3 million guests a year. The zoo is located on close to 500 acres and is home to more than 2,900 animals and 504 species from around the world.
The vehicles Polaris donated to the Minnesota Zoo include a GEM e6sq, a six-passenger electric vehicle that offers comfortable seating and ample storage and the eL XD, a two-passenger electric utility vehicle that offers a 70" x 48" flat bed that can haul up to 1,100 pounds.