Bombardier Recreational Products recently purchased select assets from the now-defunct electric motorcycle brand Alta Motors, including intellectual property, patents, and limited physical items. BRP is the parent company for Can-Am, Ski Doo, Sea Doo, Evinrude, and Rotax.
The company hopes to spread this newfound electric juju among the brands, focusing in the present tense on continued development of electric and hybrid Can Am Spyder models, as well as electric go-karting motors with Rotax.
In fact, Can-Am has been teasing a PHEV Spyder since 2011, and an all-electric concept in 2016.
Unfortunately for the motorcycle world, BRP does not plan to re-start the Alta Motors brand. That’s a huge bummer, because by all accounts Alta was building some seriously good electric bikes.
Alta was on the verge of signing a partnership deal with Harley Davidson motorcycles in 2018, only for the Wisconsin bike giant to pull out at the last second, leaving Alta high and dry. The company officially closed its doors in October of 2018, coming as a surprise to dealers and staff. The owners were seeking new funding and a partnership to reduce production costs. Neither came in time, and what once had such promise is now gone.
Can Am last produced an electric side-by-side in 2015, and this new purchase could see such a vehicle come back to the market. Electric Karting is always a good idea, and if Rotax can make an e-Kart that is as quick as its 33-horsepower 125cc 2-stroke motor, that would only be a good thing. The current electric Rotax makes about 25 horsepower.
Personally, I’d love to see electric Ski-Doos, as my Michigan back-country upbringing means part of me still has an affinity for snowmobiles, and they would be an absolute riot if they were quiet to operate and had more torque.