Brammo and Zero Raise Development Funds

September 30, 2010
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Electric motorcycle firms Brammo and Zero are raising funds for their further development. Brammo aims to raise $30 million after news that it has teamed with Flextronics as its global manufacturing partner. Zero Motorcycles has announced a more modest $2 million has been raised in its development of a new electric powertrain.

Brammo Empulse Electric Motorcycle
The Brammo Empulse headlines the company’s plans to go global, with Brammo raising capital via private stock offering.

Documents with the Security and Exchange Commission reveal Brammo’s efforts to raise capital via private stock offering. According to the Brammo SEC filing, 11 investors have already bought $12.45 million, leaving roughly $17.5 million still available.

The Ashland-Oregon based company looks to raise money after announcing its partnership with Flextronics (Brammo Goes Global with Flextronics). Money raised in its private stock offering should facilitate Brammo’s planned entry into the global market. Speaking with Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher at the time of the Flextronics announcement, the company founder eyed entry into the potentially lucrative European and Asian markets sometime next year.

Brammo has been in the headlines ever since it revealed its new Empulse electric motorcycle, which claims an impressive 100 mph top speed and 100-mile range. Bramscher reports more than 1000 pre-orders for the Empulse, with the first bikes expected to arrive by Quarter 3.

As for Zero Motorcycles, the California firm received a $177,906 grant from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District. This grant combines with the hefty $900,000 grant awarded in August from the California Energy Commission. The City of Santa Cruz has matched the grant awards for a $2,018,000 funding total.

The Zero X has an MSRP of  7 495 and comes with a wwo-year limited warranty.
The current Zero lineup consists of four bikes, including the off-road Zero X and Zero MX.

A press release announcing the funding total says the $2 million will be directed toward the development of “advanced electric powertrain systems.” Touting job growth in Santa Cruz, the announcement further states “Zero now has the financial momentum and expertise it needs to develop electric motorcycle powertrains that exceed all current levels of performance, range and efficiency.”

Zero offers a four-bike lineup – the Zero X and Zero MX dirt bikes, the Zero DS dual-sport and Zero S street bike. The Zero’s current top speed claims are 67 mph, with a 50-mile range. All source an air-cooled electric motor (Brammo claims its Empulse is the first water-cooled production electric powerplant).

Said Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “Our intention with this new powertrain development program is to continue advancements in the powersports industry while supporting the local economy and this additional boost brings us much closer to reaching our goals.”