(Polaris) GEM Launches 2016 Line, Brammo Lithium Packs (video)
In what’s being described as a “total re-design from the ground up”, Polaris announced the 2016 Polaris GEM line, (interestingly described on the site as an “electric car” without apology) for the first time offering the Brammo lithium battery packs as options. It’s part of the “SmartPower” system they’re calling the “first ever in the industry”. Here are the specifics:
Yup. That’s the BrammoPower nameplate in the lower right corner. The BrammoPower packs are being offered in the bigger models, such as the “Shuttle” version, but it’s our impression that any orders can be customized to suit the user’s needs.
A lot of the control and interface systems resemble the Brammo as well, including the instrument cluster…
…as well as smart-phone interfaces and charging features.
There’s a lot more to the 2016 model line than simply the Brammo integration, including a lot of features like door and overall handling improvements that GEM fans will no doubt appreciate. (In fact, the BrammoPower packs are barely mentioned there…) Here’s the complete video from the launch webinar, where the main message is Polaris’ response to their customer feedback:
This is interesting on several levels. It would appear that Polaris has decided that this Personal Electric Vehicle, Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, golf cart or-whatever-you-want-to-call-it market is worth bringing into the 21st century with the same level of battery technology as the rest of the road-worthy and street-legal EV market. …not only that, but overall design and build quality. GEM has, in the past, been more of a curiosity than a vital product, and (without doing our due diligence in research) if memory serves, has gone through a few fits and starts – Polaris’ purchase being the latest chapter. What with the growth prior to the 2015 lineup, it seems it’s a market they’re seeing as worth developing.
It also seems interesting that the GEM is the product line they’ve decided to use as the second instance of the BrammoPower technology. As we all know, Polaris (Victory) bought the Brammo motorcycle business a while back, and Brammo’s been insisting that the BrammoPower business model is alive and well. Now the GEM line, in addition to the Ranger EV, it would appear, is going to position Polaris as the primary client, and fairly independent of the Victory motorcycle business – yet incorporating much of the intellectual property from the Empulse and other bikes.