I am not a motorized outdoor vehicle person. I understand the appeal of zipping around on snowmobiles and ATVs and they are an important form of transportation in very rural areas. But for recreation? No thanks: they’re so damn loud and they really smell.

If you’ve ever been around Rt. 302 in the North Country during a nice winter weekend when an inversion holds pollution down, you’ll know that entire valleys can stink like a badly ventilated garage due to all the gas fumes. Yuck.

Both the smell and noise would be reduced or eliminated with electric ATVs and snowmobiles. (Although that would do nothing for the problem of the damage they can do to woods and fields, especially ATVs in mud season.) But these don’t exist, partly because of the usual weight/power issues that come with batteries but mostly because the market isn’t big enough to justify the R&D expense.

So I was happy to hear that off-road giant Polaris plans to team up with Zero, which makes a very cool line of electric motorcycles, to develop some electric OHRVs (off-highway recreational vehicles, to use the bureaucrats’ term). Story from Axios is here. My favorite takeaway:

While the power sports industry is typically “a bunch of rednecks” who will likely choose conventional two-stroke and four-stroke engines for some time, (Polaris CEO Scott) Wine said the pandemic has brought many new customers who are looking for an electric alternative.

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