Funding paves way for all-electric off-road vehicles in the U.P.

What's happening: Three companies were selected to receive $1.225 million in grant funding that would help Michigan transition to electric and technology-based vehicles in the outdoor recreation industry. One of those groups is Ontonagon-based Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures, which will operate a fleet of all-electric off-road vehicles as part of its rental offerings.  

Worldwide brand, local location: Hamilton’s North Coast Adventures is one of the local Polaris outfitters, specializing in the various offerings from the New York Stock Exchange-traded company. The grant money is allocated to Polaris to help develop charging stations for electric off-road vehicles (E-ORVs). Using local dealerships and outfitters will guarantee an opportunity to see the stations in action. 

What they're saying: “Billions of dollars are being invested in the transformation of the outdoor mobility experience through electrification and supporting technologies,” said Kathryn Snorrason, Michigan's interim Chief Mobility Officer. “By aligning our industry-leading initiatives and investment in vehicle technology with the expanding outdoor industry, we can attract industry investment and talent from across the nation while improving accessibility and sustainability within our outdoor recreational assets.”

What's next: The moves through the state program will help build Michigan’s first EV-friendly trails for ORVs. The Upper Peninsula was chosen for the pilot program, expected to be completed in 2024. The effort will make certain trail areas more friendly for charging E-ORVs through multi-modal charging stations. In addition to the ones near Ontonagon, a limited amount of state parks, tribal land and resorts will also host E-ORV charging stations.
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