Brammo Inc., a leading developer of electric vehicle technology and manufacturer of distinctive two-wheel electric vehicles, has closed the first $13 million tranche of a $45 million Series C funding round designed to accelerate the company's development plans.
The first tranche of the financing was led by Polaris Industries and included contributions from other undisclosed investors. Polaris, a recognized leader in the power sports industry, is a strategic partner for Brammo, bringing both investment and opportunities to integrate Brammo Electric Vehicle (EV) drivetrain technology into multiple power sports platforms. "This $13 million round of financing puts Brammo on strong footing to continue to execute, deliver and expand distribution of our electric motorcycles to our customer pipeline," said Craig Bramscher, CEO of Brammo. "This funding will ensure we continue to accelerate production to capitalize on the growing demand for electric motorcycles."
With annual 2010 sales of $1.99 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® for recreational and utility use, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric powered vehicles.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the power sports industry, among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The Company has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with Victory motorcycles and the acquisition of the Indian motorcycle brand. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the Global on-road low speed vehicle industry with internally developed vehicles and the acquisition of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM). Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.
IDTechEx notes that Polaris is buying at least one electric vehicle-related business every year, recent examples being in France, Switzerland and the USA and spanning industrial pure EVs for on-road use, a single cylinder range extender (Swissauto) and the above-mentioned ugly duckling neighbourhood pure electric vehicle (GEM from Chrysler). It has two nostalgia motorcycle brands Victory and Indian that are profitable and achieve some of the highest consumer satisfaction ratings of all motorcycles but are not suitable for electrification. So far, Polaris relies excessively on improving production efficiency without often modernising components such as lead acid batteries as in its Ranger runabout which we have seen when we visited. It is unlikely to use its exciting single cylinder range extender in its own vehicles (same odd behaviour as Lotus). It badly needs a modern electric motorcycle.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PII", and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com
Brammo, Inc., is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the Encite(TM), Enertia(TM), Empulse(TM) and Engage(TM) motorcycles. Brammo is the current TTXGP eGrandPrix champion of North America. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain(TM) systems including the Brammo Power(TM) battery pack and Brammo Power(TM) vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit www.Brammo.com
In another news item we have Brammo Inc.'s purchase of the Walmart building here could bring another 130 jobs to the local economy over the next 18 to 24 months, founder and Chief Executive Officer Craig Bramscher said.
Brammo's plans to purchase the 90,000-square-foot structure was announced by Walmart. Retail operations at the store will end in August when the new Supercenter opens in south Medford.
"We'll probably be doing more final production and assembly here for the North American market," said Bramscher. "We'll build the Empulse (motorcycle) here for the U.S."
"Research and development capabilities also will be expanded with the new building," Bramscher said. "Presently the firm has 65 employees working in three leased buildings in Ashland."
"We will be able to consolidate all of them in one building, and we will be able to expand the scope of what we are doing in the valley," said Bramscher. "It will give us the opportunity to expand really quickly if the market supports it."
"Demand for drive trains and batteries the firm produces has been increasing, and they will be assembled in Talent as well," said Bramscher. "A small retail space will be incorporated into the design."
"Confidentially agreements do not allow disclosure of the sale price," said Bramscher.
"Brammo will retain one of three lots it has purchased in Ashland and probably sell the others," he said. "Plans to build a pair of two-story buildings on Jefferson Avenue in Ashland will be put on hold, although the company may build a test dirt track there as originally planned," Bramscher said.
Rezoning of part of the Talent site and securing of a conditional use permit to allow assembly work will be required by the city. Currently the building sits in two different zones, one of which needs to be changed to allow the CUP.
Bramscher said the firm would move as quickly as possible to occupy, with January 2013 being the earliest date. Given its size, the firm may only occupy half the building initially.
"We're obviously very excited about electric vehicles in general," said Bramscher. "As the technology improves the broader the offerings can be."
As electric motorcycles evolve, the competition between some of the categories' leading manufacturers is getting fierce.
Up to recently, the Zero S F79 was the top-performing electric sportbike, reaching speeds of 88 mph and having a 114-mile range.
But Brammo answered, releasing the all-new 2012 Empulse and Empulse R; the R model has a top speed over the 100mph mark, and gets 121 miles to a charge. These claims give the Brammo Empulse R the top performance honors.
The Oregon-based company released the new Empulse models at Boulevard 3 in Los Angeles, giving specs on the bikes that feature the world's first drivetrain that has been designed and built for a production electric motorcycle.
Brammo says: "Research conducted by Brammo with both customers and dealers has driven the development of the Empulse and Empulse R. As a result, these motorcycles now come with a water-cooled AC motor and fully integrated IET six speed transmission, seating for two, regenerative braking and on board J1772 Level 2 charging capability."
"To ensure the highest quality performance and design, Brammo works with internationally renowned manufacturers for superior components of their motorcycles. This close attention to the supply chain ensures the durability, reliability and ultimately future resale value of Brammo products."
The two models vary as follows:
- The Empulse body work is all plastic has semi adjustable front suspension and semi adjustable rear suspension.
- The Empulse R uses carbon fiber for headlight shroud, front and rear fenders, top panel and the rear light housing.
- Brammo promised that of the first 1000 people who pre ordered an Empulse, one would be selected at random to receive their motorcycle free of charge. Last week from the first 1000 orders six finalists were selected. At the event, Craig Bramscher rolled a dice and chose the lucky winner.
At the launch party, Brammo announced the Empulse and Empulse R will cost $16,995 and $18,995 respectively with financing available from Sheffield Financial.
Through this financing, customers will be able to purchase the new Empulse and Empulse R from Brammo dealers as follows:
- Empulse: 8.9% for 72 months at $303, 6.9% financing for 60 month at $334 and 3.9% for 36 months at $499
- Empulse R: 8.9% for 72 months at $339, 6.9% financing for 60 month at $373 and 3.9% for 36 months at $558
Availability of each model will vary based on demand for the Empulse and Empulse R. Production for the Empulse R took place first with limited availability in June 2012 and it will be in volume by Q3 2012. The Empulse will be available in Q1 2013.
Source: Brammo Inc.