Polaris Launches First-of-Its-Kind Off-Road Charging Network

The network supports around 100 miles of scenic off-road trails in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Polaris Inc. and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) celebrated the launch and grand opening of an electric off-road vehicle charging network in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Just under a year after Polaris received a Mobility Public-Private Partnership and Programming (MP4) grant through Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification’s (OFME) program to develop and maintain an off-road trail charging network in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the off-road charging network is officially open. This first-of-its-kind off-road electric charging network supports around 100 miles of scenic off-road trails in the Upper Peninsula.

“It is an honor to mark the opening of this unique off-road electric charging network developed in partnership with the State of Michigan and the local communities along this trail system,” said Andrew Chasse, vice president of strategy and partnerships, Polaris. “Polaris and Michigan are connected in our efforts to bring exciting innovation and the latest technology to outdoor recreation. I’d like to thank the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in particular for allowing Polaris the opportunity to play a role in such an important initiative for the state and this standout milestone for the powersports industry.”   

“Michigan is known as a Make-It State, leveraging our incredible talent pool that brings together innovation, grit, determination and visionary products of the future,” said Justine Johnson, State of Michigan chief mobility officer. “Working in tandem with Polaris to launch an electric off-road vehicle charging network in the Upper Peninsula exemplifies how working through public-private partnerships bring ideation to fruition in every corner of Michigan. We applaud Polaris’s effort to support the growth of a reliable EV [electric vehicle] charging infrastructure in one of Michigan’s favorite [off-road vehicle] ORV riding destinations.”

Michigan’s MP4 grant supports the modernization of the state’s mobility offerings and its massive outdoor recreation industry as it transitions to more electric and technology-enabled vehicles. In June 2023, Polaris announced it had been selected to receive a $700,000 grant to develop and maintain an off-road trail charging network in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Free to use, the EV charging stations enable the use of various electric off-road vehicles or other trails-approved electric options on the public trail system. There are four installed electric vehicle charging stations on state-designated ORV trails in the woods of Ontonagon County. The four chargers are deployed in Ontonagon, White Pine, Bergland and Greenland.

Polaris partnered with Texas-based Yotta Energy to provide the charging hardware. Yotta’s REV charging station is an integrated, scalable EV charging solution that includes solar production capacity and 120 kilowatt-hours of onboard energy storage. The solution can be grid-connected or operate completely off-grid, making it suitable for use in remote areas and urban locations alike.

Launch of Nation’s First All-Electric RANGER XP Kinetic Rental Experience

With the development of this off-road EV charging network, Polaris also announced that local Polaris Adventures Outfitter, Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures near Ontonagon, Michigan, is the first in the country to offer a rental fleet of Polaris’ all-electric off-road vehicle, the RANGER XP Kinetic. Rentals of the RANGER XP Kinetic started recently, giving Polaris Adventures customers the opportunity to explore the beauty of Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula’s most famous trail — The Pioneer ORV Trail — in one of the newest electric off-road vehicles and use the new off-road charging network. 

“Polaris Adventures was started with the goal of helping more people experience powersports and discover new ways to enjoy the outdoors, and this launch of our first electric off-road vehicle rental experience in the country will continue to do just that,” said Gray Rentz, vice president of Polaris Experience, Polaris.

Polaris’ Efforts to Bring Electric Technology to Powersports

From acceleration and control to quieter operations and zero emissions, there are benefits to electric powertrain technology within the powersports industry. Since the launch of its all-electric RANGER XP Kinetic utility side-by-side in 2023, Polaris has been leveraging electric technology to deliver leading performance capabilities and an unparalleled experience for off-road riders.

“Our approach to electrification remains centered around understanding where we can best incorporate EV technology to enhance the riding experience and provide an incredible offering to customers,” Chasse continued. “For utility customers, we’ve shown how electric technology can help us build one of the best utility off-road side-by-sides on the market, while data and insights from this effort in Michigan can help us refine our view on opportunities within the recreation off-road space.”

Looking more broadly, Polaris is focused on testing electric prototypes across its product platforms and will commercialize purposefully where electrification improves the customer experience.

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