Deal could bring more electric off-roaders: No more buzzing through the woods


Can-Am Defender side-by-side off-roader

Can-Am Defender side-by-side off-roader

One way to get more buyers interested in electric cars is to introduce electric power to other machines whose function is less critical, and where consumers can get used to the idea of driving electrically.

That could be the outcome of a deal in which Bombardier Recreational Products has purchased selected assets from Alta Motors (nee: Faster Faster).

Alta Motors built highly regarded motocross bikes until October, when a planned deal with Harley-Davidson fell apart. (Harley introduced its own electric motorcycle, the Livewire, in November, and says it will go on sale in August.)

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Bombardier Recreational Products is the longtime Canadian manufacturer of SkiDoo snowmobiles, SeaDoo boats, and Can-Am side-by-side off-roaders and three-wheeled motorcycles. BRP has talked about building a hybrid version of the Can-Am since 2011, but still builds only gas versions. 

BRP announced last month that it will buy Alta's assets, "to complement its ongoing research and development" into electric motorcycles. The company said it will not restart operations at Alta.

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BRP already demonstrated an interest in electric vehicles by building electric Commander side-by-side off road vehicles, as well as prototypes of hybrid and electric Can-Am Spyders. Its engine division, Rotax, also makes electric motors for go-karts.

Now if the company can get its buyers to express a similar interest in buying those vehicles, those customers could get a taste of the silent performance of electric cars and be ready to try one for the street. 

 
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