The big product launch here at Interbike, for those of is into EV’s, is the Polaris’s electric bicycles, or eBikes. They’re launching a full line of 5 electrified bicycle models designed to meet a broad range of rider’s needs. Evantage is an electric motor company working solely with Polaris to develop their full range of electric assist bicycles. I met with Polaris e-bikes President Brandon Kaplan at the Polaris booth, where he told me the Polaris Evantage story, and what sets Polaris electric bicycles above all the rest of the electric bikes on the market.
According to Kaplan, the main advantage is their DuoDrive technology which automatically adjusts the power delivery from 8w to as much as 600w depending on the conditions like the grade of the hill you’re riding up. The bikes also feature regenerative braking from the disc brakes, a locking detachable battery that can easily be carried inside to recharge while the bike is parked. BioSync reads the rider’s power output as they pedal, and tells the motor how much power to deliver, to give the smoothest possible ride.
I will test ride their bikes and many more today at Interbike’s electric bicycle test “track”. My inner mom grounded me after I laid down a test bike trying to bank it through the corner at a lean angle more appropriate to a motorcycle. Which would’ve worked out fine, had there been anything resembling traction on the slick concrete convention floor.
Polaris Is Electrifying
When you hear “Polaris”, most people think of snowmobiles and ATV’s. However, Polaris has recently been making major investments in the EV industry, as reported here. They’ve also invested significantly in Brammo electric motorcycles. Evantage pitched their bicycle motors to Polaris and have been working with them the past three years to develop these bikes. Kaplan told me the Polaris name broadens the range of potential customers because they sell at powersports dealers, many of whom didn’t know about electric bikes.
Although most cyclists ride for exercise as well as transportation, the electric bikes are a perfect vehicle for getting commuters out of their cars. The extra power available promises an easier, less sweaty commute. The pedals and 8 speeds enable the rider to discover the endorphin rush that comes with a ride to work. Full interview (complete with Interbike hubbub to make it feel like you’re really here):