polaris

Polaris to Launch Line of E-Bikes

September 16, 2012
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Polaris Press release: 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 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.”

Polaris Strive

The Polaris e-bikes feature new proprietary technology in their motor, battery, and controller systems:

Motor system

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.

IC dashboard

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 the 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 networks, 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 meets the fast evolving demands of the light 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 itself. The result is a complete and unique electric bike experience, rather than an added-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.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • magic carpet

    When the Polaris ebikes were introduced in Toronto several months ago I contacted the dealer to ask what duo-drive meant. The press release was vague, to say the least, as is this article. The photo appears to show a rear hubmotor AND a mid drive motor. The snowmobile salesman I spoke to didn’t know what either drive was or which the Polaris utilized. The bikes had only been in his shop for a few days, but such are the priorities at an ICE recreational vehicle company, that he had no idea what the machine was that was sitting in his showroom! Two motors would be too heavy, in my mind. I own a hubmotor bike and a mid-drive bike, and both offer distinct advantages, lightness not being on either list. Given the state of battery development, the range on these bikes must be very limited. It’s not surprising a company known for its successes in gas powered racing would develop an ebike with twice as much motor, but batteries are the weak link in the ebike chain, not motors. Both of my bikes are ‘duo-drive’, electric/human hybrids. The Polaris appears to be ‘trio-drive’.

    • greengearhead

      Polaris , maker of atvs and other 4wd go anywhere vehicles probably wanted to be the first offering of an awd eBike. I agree that two motors is probably heavy and range depleting.

      • magic carpet

        Both motors drive the rear wheel, so it’s not AWD. Now if the hubmotor was on the front wheel, that would be a different story.

    • ElectricBIke

      I agree their press release is very vague. I will check them out at interbike and see what this bike is about. Probably just a hub motor.

  • magic carpet

    I visited the Polaris dealership today. One hundred gas motorcycles in the showroom and one ebike. The salesman had no idea what duo drive was and suggested it was human/electric. The bottom bracket is totally screened off with plastic shrouds. Peering through the vents, a substantial casting is barely visible. The giveaway was on the spec sheet, motor location is stated to be mid drive AND hub motor. That’s the only hint ANYWHERE! The brochure repeatedly refers to ‘the’ motor, singular. They suggest what’s ‘duo’, is the pedelec and/or handlebar throttle. They went to a lot of touble to avoid saying ‘two motors’. It is one of the most gobbledygook pamphlets I’ve ever seen, full of buzz words and little substance. I have a hunch two motors would be against the regulations, so they don’t dare mention it. The weight of the bike over-all is very good at 53lbs but this comes at the price of a smallish, 6.3 ah battery at 29.6 volts (29.6 ???)in a chintzy plastic case. The bike I tested had the battery in the rear rack, which is unacceptable to me. At least the rack is very strongly built, so not as likely to fail, as other production bike racks do regularly. The top of the line bike has the battery in the down tube, but the dealership didn’t order any in because they are too expensive. It is the same voltage and amp hours as the rack mounted battery The motor wattage is listed at 450, so theres plenty of power at ebike legal speeds, but what percentage of that 450 is the crank motor and what is the hubmotor, remains a mystery. The range is advertised to be only 30 miles (cut that in half for agressive riding). I took it for a little ride and found it to be very torquey from a standstill but otherwise similar to the Bionx and Epik ebikes I own. The brakes are the same mechanical Tektro discs I have on my other bikes. It comes with a large Sram rear derailleur and the same Suntour forks as on my two thousand dollar Epik. The price is $2500. Canadian, which I suppose is not too bad.
    There is a taillight built into the battery, but no headlight. Bike comes with a sidestand.
    The quality of the welds was very good and the hydroformed aluminum frame is state of the art. I wouldn’t buy a hybrid car because of the redundancy of systems and double long, parts list. I won’t be buying a Polaris for the same reasons.

  • All ebikes must have the following
    1. weight
    2. max speed
    3. distance (at speed)

    Otherwise you have no idea what is being marketed

  • jerry

    Poloris never answers there phone, poor company for info or parts ordering and if you leave message they never call back

    • John Normanton

      You can say that again they don’t respond to e-mails either useless company I understand that their batteries for their electric bicycles. cost $800.