Polaris Industries Inc. has acquired electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo Inc. Polaris had already owned 8 percent of the company; when Brammo was looking for money in 2011, Polaris was part of a $28 million round of funding. Polaris followed up with additional funding in 2012.
One thing that makes this even more interesting is Polaris obviously owns two other motorcycle brands in Victory and Indian. They also own Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), which supplies electric vehicles to the government, universities, and other organizations who use that type of vehicle. It also means that Polaris has plenty of background, engineering, and infrastructure to make an electric motorcycle work and work really well - and they may be able to quickly produce a possible competitor to the LiveWire project from Harley Davidson. Polaris is a $5 billion a year company that's easily capable of redefining the EV motorcycle market.
Brammo was having some issues with production, lay offs, and cash flow shortages - all of which opened the door for this purchase. Currently, there are no plans by Polaris to reduce the workforce further.
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“We have enjoyed our involvement with Brammo Motorcycles over the past three years, and our excitement about their industry-leading lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology has increased commensurate with their improvements in cost and performance," said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO. "Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products.”
“Today’s announcement strengthens not only Polaris’ commitment to bringing our consumers lithium-ion electric solutions, but also this partnership’s ability to continue innovating and developing leading electric drivetrain technology,” said Wine. “We anticipate a return on these investments and believe the new alignment brings us that much closer to delivering world-class electric solutions across our products.”
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We are big fans of EV motorcycles around here. The idea of linear controllable power is exciting and exhilarating. With the resources at Polaris, the range problems that have plagued all EV vehicles can be tackled, and of course the dealer network for Polaris, Victory, and Indian is a huge plus. What will be interesting is to see what this does for electric motorcycles as a whole.
The Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler.