Polaris Electric Bicycles has introduced a new line of electric bicycles in partnership with EVantage. The Polaris brand entering the electric bicycle category is a major move toward making electric bicycles a viable mainstream recreational option in the U.S., according to a news release from EVantage. The new Polaris bikes will be launched at Interbike 2012, Sept. 19-21 in Las Vegas.
The news release continues:
To develop a full and complete line, Polaris and EVantage set out to not only meet, but exceed the standards of performance, design, and materials engineering in the industry. All Polaris e-bikes have been developed from the ground up with the customer’s needs in mind first. Every component, from the frame to the EVantage DuoDrive motor and battery system, embodies elements of Polaris standards.
“The Polaris name has always been synonymous with superior design and quality, and these electric bicycles are no exception,” EVantage president Brandon Kaplan said. “Each and every detail was crafted with the consumer in mind, which stays true to Polaris’ inherent need to provide usable and applicable products to their customers. These electric bikes are an expansion of this brand, with its great history, while also paving a way toward new trends in transportation.”
The Polaris e-bikes feature new proprietary technology in their motor, battery and controller systems:
DuoDrive is the propelling force behind every Polaris electric bicycle. Patent pending, DuoDrive technology allows the motor to use both speed and high torque, switching from a SpeedDrive configuration on flat or low intensity terrain to a TorqueDrive configuration on hilly or other high resistance terrain. The Smart Control system automatically manages the drive mode, changing to accommodate the ride environment.
ARC regenerative braking
The ARC Regen system is an energy recovery system that captures power through both regenerative braking and when the bike exceeds 20mph, returning power to the battery supply.
The onboard display reveals Speed, Trip Distance, Odometer, Battery Range, and a Carbon Footprint Readout. The rider can control the assist levels and integrated LED lighting (on select models) from the IC Dash as well.
Not Just Another E-Bike
Most electric bikes are either throttle controlled or pedal assist. However, Polaris e-bikes feature both power on demand (through the use of a throttle) and pedal assistance (the motor provides power assistance during the regular pedal motion). The throttle works just like a throttle on a scooter or motorcycle would and there is no need to pedal. The pedal assist mode will match or exceed the rider’s pedal power to give them assistance in riding. A rider can choose the type of assistance needed based on the ride.
Vector, Strive and Meridian
With three different lines and a total of seven models, Polaris bikes hit all niches. The Vector line includes all around rugged e-bikes designed to go from the trail to the street and every place in between. The Strive line features touring models, built for comfort and ease. The Meridian line targets the urban commuter with its
sleek European styling, fenders and front LED lighting. All models of e-bikes will be distributed throughout the Independent Bicycle Dealer network, as well as select Polaris dealerships nationwide.
Polaris is Serious about Electric Vehicles
Over the past couple of years, Polaris has been strategically working its way into the light electric vehicle (LEV) field. Polaris purchased GEM (Global Electric Motorcars), neighborhood electric vehicle company, and has recently relaunched the line. Polaris additionally acquired Goupil Industrie SA, a commercial light electric vehicle manufacturer and has made a sizeable investment in Brammo electric motorcycles. The introduction of a Polaris branded electric bicycle is a natural extension in brand development.
EVantage is a developer of electric drive systems and high performance electric bicycles. Founded in 2009, with offices in Miami Beach, Fla., Boston and Hong Kong, EVantage designs motor systems to include proprietary technology that meet the fast evolving demands of the electric vehicle category. They specialize in providing the whole package: engineering, design and development. Their electric bicycles are designed as a complete system to include not only the electric components, but also the bike design bike itself. The result is a complete and unique electric bike experience, rather than an add-on, off the shelf product.
Proprietary technology is the benchmark for any EVantage system, currently driven by their DuoDrive motor technology. With facilities in the USA and Hong Kong, EVantage is a developer of full line products as well as an OEM supplier of electric motor systems.
Warranty, warranty, warranty! Until electric bike manufacturers are serious about warranting their bikes with a minimum of a two year warranty (especially those built overseas) be very cautious. Also look for manufacturers with extended warranties.
I'm not sure about other electric bike manufacturers, but OHM Cycles offers a two year warranty on its bike frames, and one year on its battery and other components. It's only limited warranty though: http://ohmcycles.com/support/warranty/
Smart move by Polaris to further diversify it's product line. Buyers of the EV bikes will then be introduced to to the rest of the Polaris product line of motorcycles, ATVs etc. Just wish I hadn't sold my Polaris stock a couple of months ago! EV bikes would also be a great addition to have on powersports dealer floors.
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