Mission Motors Has a Cool Way for You to Spend $68,995

Mission_Motors_Electric_Motorcycle Mission Motors, a startup created in 2007 by mechanical engineers in a garage in San Francisco’s Mission district, has officially come out with its prototype electric motorcycle. The first-edition order of 50 bikes will be delivered this year, and cost $68,995 each. The single-speed motorcycle tops out at a fairly stable 6,500 rpm, and has been clocked going 167 mph at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

In case you’re wondering, that set a record for electric bikes.

The business model of Mission Motors is very similar to that of Tesla Motors, the carmaker based in the Silcon Valley who is also looking to sell high-end electric vehicles to wealthy (and green!) auto enthusiasts. Both companies are offering uberfast machines to the crazy rich people of America.

CEO Jit Bhattacharya, whose number one Google search result is his Ultimate Frisbee team profile at from when he was a student at Stanford University, has managed to raise more than $2.5 million from angel investors and venture capitalists willing to fund his dream.

“We have been approached by car companies that are very interested in our power-train technology,” said Bhattacharya, who wouldn’t say which companies he was referring to. However, he did say that his engineers are focused on a software development “that drives motors, that drives batteries.”

So, what do you guys think? If you had the spare cash to spend, would you drop it on one of these bikes?

Written by Web Master, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Current Motor Expands Electric Motorcycle Market

Current Motor Company logoElectric scooter and motorcycle companies all over the United States – and nations all over the world – are finding their products in demand more and more. Of course, at this point in the development of the industry, the profits are not exactly rolling in for everyone. Most such companies are relying on so-called “angel” investors and other venture capitalists to keep them afloat. There exist many bright lights in the industry, however, which are seeing sales continue to rise as the electric vehicle industry gains more and more exposure. And, with all the energy invested in the industry, the technology is constantly marching forward. One new company –started just this October – is hoping to get in on the ground floor of this ever expanding industry segment, Current Motor Company.

Current Motor is a start-up based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with intentions to get in early on the relatively young new mode of transport and become a serious contender vying for a sizeable share of electric vehicle customers. The company manufacturers three different models of what are, essentially, electric scooters. The range of each of the vehicles is between 50 and 60 miles on a single charge, obviously dependent on driving conditions. At present it takes around 40 hours to build one machine, and the expectation is that 300 will be built next year. But, that is projected to improve, and the number produced to significantly increase, as the company expands and automates more of the process.  And, they are ambitious for growth. Current Motor Lineup

One way Current Motor believes the company can compete is on price. With the average MSRP of many presently available offerings ranging between $8,000 and $10,000, Current’s three models sell for $5,999 to $7,499 – a significant savings. The additional federal and state rebate programs will reduce that further still.

There are no illusions at Current Motor, though, and the road ahead will not be easy. At least the company has some serious Detroit backing in GM’s Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz, so the hometown support is solid. The next step is putting their vehicles out in the market. Current Motor President Peter Scott is looking to be a big part of the industry, so expect to hear much more about this new Detroit electric motorcycle company very soon.

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Electric Scooter Manufacturer Goes ‘National’

Austin Electric Vehicle Boulevard E Scooter This is how change comes to our world in many instances; several small entrepreneurs begin carving out niches for their take on the same base product. The early automotive industry was like that, so was the early motorcycle industry – in fact, some parts of our industry are like that now. Just take a look at the electric motorcycle and scooter segment as it stands as of this writing. Small companies run by and employing very determined, smart, and capable people are building the future of motorcycling in everything from massive new factories to suburban garages. One small electric bicycle, scooter and motorcycle company in Texas is adding to this narrative by moving to new and larger facilities, expanding to a nationwide audience and establishing a new partnership.

National Scooter Company, Inc. recently relocated to new digs just outside Austin, Texas, in the city of Pflugerville (pronounced just like flu-gur-vil). It’s a severely beautiful area of the state and is worth visiting on two wheels anytime you can make the trip. Their new location provides them a currently comfortable 10,000 square feet, but they hope to add another 60,000 square feet in the next few years. More on this later…

CEO Greg James has now stated that the first vehicles sold will be branded with the Austin Electric Vehicle – or Austin Electric Vehicle Lowboy E Electric Scooter AEV – nameplate and will be available in dealerships throughout the United States. Included under that marque will be selection of electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles. The line of scooters and motorcycles will be priced from $2,495 – and, there are both federal and state programs which could offset a significant portion of that cost, depending on where you live. Range of both could be as much as 80 miles, provided conditions are almost perfect. As for speed, the scooter will be capable of 60 mph, with the motorcycle having 70 mph at the top end. The electric bicycles will begin at a reasonable $995 with a 20 mph top speed and 25 mile range and it will be easily stored due to its collapsible design.

CEO James also announced a new partnership with a Dallas-based energy marketing company, Branded Retail Energy Co. (BRE). The deal will allow National Scooter products to be included in the BRE program which partners with major universities all around the US. This program allows alumni and other supporters of the included schools of higher learning to buy energy at a specified Austin Electric Vehicle Venice E Electric Scooter rate from BRE; it then distributes a share of the payment as a monthly donation to the participating university of their choosing. This new deal will have National Scooter provide a university ‘branded’ electric scooter to be given away at the end of the collegiate football season to people who enter the contest while attending any of the team’s games.

Back to the move…One very important aspect of these announcements concerns the full scope of the move to the new facilities. With this change, National Scooter will now have every part of their operations – from design to manufacturing – at one location and all inside the United States. They are actually moving their production from China back to Texas. This makes National Scooter and their AEV marque the first American scooter company to be wholly inside the US borders; a very positive step for the US economy and the employees who will work in the Pflugerville location…

To become a customer, or just have a look, check them out at: http://austinelectricvehicles.com/

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

The 2011 All-Electric Yamaha EC-03

2011 Yamaha EC-03 Silver The scooter market has been an interesting study over recent years. First we saw it skyrocket with reports of incredible year over year sales numbers. Then came the Great Recession and the numbers started to slide somewhat. Even what many consider a primary market for such vehicles, Europe’s scooter market witnessed a slight decline over the last decade or so. But, manufacturers know that they can continue to lure customers in with simple and reliable transportation which provides amazing fuel economy – penny-pinchers love the step-through concept too. Now Yamaha is introducing another level of efficiency to the powered two-wheeler market – the all-new, all-electric EC-03.

The 2011 EC-03 is designed for those who want to have a sweet inner city runabout with a zippy electric powerplant which also happens to be good to the environment. At only 123lbs (56Kg), it is nearly 30% lighter than a 50cc petrol-powered scooter, so it will be very maneuverable and easy to move around even when parked. The electric motor provides two selectable control modes, Standard and Power, which can be chosen at any point when needed. As is common on scooters, it’s all twist and go with a computer-controlled transmission. An advanced computing network – Yamaha Mutual Communication System (YMCS) – system keeps all on-board electronic system in contact with one another at all times. Adding to the functionality are many adjustable features including the seat height, seat-hip position, footrest and handlebars. 2011 Yamaha EC-03

Yamaha’s own Yamaha Integrated Power Unit (YIPU) – placing the electric motor in the hub of the wheel – allowed engineers to keep the machine slim and trim. It also provides for incredibly quiet, clean and efficient transportation with performance enhanced as the drive unit is calibrated to provide maximum torque at low engine speeds. Pulling away from stoplights will impress those in four-wheeled cages and some motorcyclists as well.

Important concerns are, of course, range. Yamaha claims around 29 miles (46 Km) on a flat surface at around 19 mph (30 Km/h). Average distance in real-world conditions is somewhere near 19 miles (30 Km) in Standard mode and 12.5 miles (20 Km) in Power mode on a full charge. That’s not exactly a long distance, but it would be sufficient for most city dwellers. Remember, this is the first generation model and improvements in battery technology are moving radically forward nowadays.

2011 Yamaha EC-03 in White Not to go without mention in this article is the style of the machine. The Yamaha designers did a good job putting a very European look to the EC-03; it appears modern and svelte. It’s a perfect mount for those obsessed with fashion, design, or just appreciative of quality work. Eco-conscious Mods everywhere will want one. The EC-03 does seem to have some room for more storage, but that would affect range. Perhaps Yamaha will offer a top-box or saddlebags as accessories? There is a hook under the front of the seat for holding things in place, but not much else.

This is yet another vehicle which is not yet scheduled to hit North American roads, but that may change at any point – after all, electric motorcycles and scooters have been relatively successful here since their introduction. At least we can contact the good people at Yamaha and ask them to send it this way!

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Artistic Ink in Electric Solos

Electric_Solos

Alex Higgins knows how to make your seat stand out.  Higgins of Electric Solos uses the very best in raw materials and a knowledge of classic styling to put the finishing touches on custom cycles. His unique and original designs are hand crafted authentic tattoos on genuine cowhide with tattoo ink.

Higgins says the inspirations for his works of art are some legendary artists. “I’ve always admired guys like Von Dutch, Ed Roth, and Sailor Jerry he said.  “Just guys doing unique stuff. I love ‘one-off’ stuff. I wanted to produce something unique too, something that had not been done before. But that’s partially true…because I wasn’t sitting there trying to figure out what I could do to be ‘unique.’  It just kind of happened. I’ve always loved the look of old, weathered, tattoos on people. So I was ultimately trying to duplicate that look. And it just made perfect sense to tattoo leather. I’ve been riding motorcycles for 40 years and tattooing for 15, so the seats just seemed like the next right thing to do. The desire to do something original, but also coupled with a lot of luck.”

Two of Alex’s most eye-catching  seat designs are “Daisy” and the other “Smoke 300.” When asked if there was any special meaning behind these seats Higgins said, “Basically, they were sayings that I liked and I built the designs around those sayings.”

Esolo-Daisy Esolo-Smoke300
You can see more of Alex Higgins’ designs at Electric Solos.

Written by John Campbell, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com