While the global auto giants are vying to edge ahead in the marketplace with their electric and hybrid vehicle innovations, what has been happening in the motorbike space in terms of manufacturers going down the clean-tech route?
Well, to give you an example of some companies that are pioneering electric motorbikes, in the US you have Brammo. Based in Ashland, Oregon, the EV technology company designs and creates electric motorcycles, such as the Enertia Plus, the Empulse and the Brammo Engage.
The Empulse has a six-speed transmission with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, according to the company. It retails at US$16,995.
Brammo itself recently raised US$13m, as part of a US$45m Series C funding round, and chief executive Craig Bramscher also appears to have his sights set on a future IPO if a recent segment in The Wall Street Journal is anything to go by.
The first tranche of the financing in Brammo was led by the powersports industry giant Polaris Industries and included contributions from other undisclosed investors.
The road and track
Next up in the US is Zero Motorcycles. The company’s idea to go down the EV route with motorcycles was apparently first conceived in a Santa Cruz, California, garage. It started producing its first prototypes in 2006 and now designs electric motorcycles for both the street and for dirt-bike racing.
The dual-sport Zero DS, which the company says it has designed to be “agile in the dirt and quick on the street”. Apparently, this electric motorcycle has a battery cell power pack that allows the bike to achieve a range of 180 kilometres. Pricing for the bike begins at US$11,495