Zero Motorcycles Promotes Askenazi to CTO

Former Buell engineer working on new powertrain technology

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Zero Motorcycles has promoted Abe Askenazi to the position of chief technology officer.

A former Buell engineer, Askenazi joined Zero Motorcycles in 2010 as vice president of engineering where he played a vital role in developing the company’s 2011 line-up, overhauling over 80% of Zero’s existing electric motorcycle line-up while adding the Zero XU and street legal versions of the Zero X and Zero MX in just 10 months on the job.

“Abe’s ability to effectively execute on an aggressive product development plan, select the best new technologies and rally his team is remarkable. The result of his work is clearly visible in our 2011 product line that is more robust and better performing than any of its predecessors,” says Karl Wharton, chief operating officer of Zero Motorcycles. “With Abe taking on the role of CTO we are now even more confident that our future product offerings will continue to evolve and maintain our market leading status.”

In his new role as CTO, Askenazi will direct the company’s technology infrastructure and lead the development of Zero’s next generation powertrain.

Press release after the jump.

Santa Cruz, Calif., (May 24, 2011) – Zero Motorcycles today announced that Abe Askenazi has been named its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). After joining Zero Motorcycles in February 2010 as the Vice President of Engineering, Askenazi led his team in the rapid development of Zero’s 2011 product line. A major overhaul from the previous year, over eighty percent of each existing model was re-engineered or otherwise improved, and three new models were added: the Zero XU and street legal versions of the Zero X and Zero MX dirt bikes. Askenazi’s team delivered this entire model line from concept to production in 10 months. Such swift development of a broad, globally available line is a first for the electric motorcycle industry. Having proven his skill in leading what no other electric motorcycle engineering team has yet accomplished, Askenazi becomes an officer at Zero Motorcycles. As CTO, he will pioneer Zero Motorcycles’ technology infrastructure and direct the development of the company’s new powertrain project.

“Abe’s ability to effectively execute on an aggressive product development plan, select the best new technologies and rally his team is remarkable. The result of his work is clearly visible in our 2011 product line that is more robust and better performing than any of its predecessors,” said Karl Wharton, Zero Motorcycles COO. “With Abe taking on the role of CTO we are now even more confident that our future product offerings will continue to evolve and maintain our market leading status.”

“On behalf of myself, and my team, we appreciate the recognition that we’ve received. The accomplishments that we’ve made in such a short amount of time have been very rewarding and we look forward to the many accomplishments yet to come,” said Abe Askenazi. “As CTO, I plan to further lead Zero Motorcycles in pushing the boundaries of electric powertrain technology. Our goal is to continue to offer customers the highest performance and value available today.”

About Abe Askenazi:
Askenazi is a passionate engineer and motorcyclist holding both a BS and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley; his Master’s thesis was on “The Dynamics of Motorcycles.” Upon graduating, Askenazi joined Buell Motorcycle Company, where, over the course of 15 years, he rose to the position of Sr. Director of Analysis, Test and Engineering Process, reporting to Erik Buell and actively participating in Harley-Davidson Inc’s Senior Leadership Group. At Buell, Askenazi provided increasing levels of leadership to multi-functional teams in the delivery of twenty six high-performance motorcycle models (including two turn-key road racers) across four different platforms, resulting in the production of over 130,000 vehicles yielding over $1B in sales. Askenazi holds numerous patents for motorcycle components and has published a text-book and multiple articles on both analytical engineering and motorcycle technology.

About Zero Motorcycles:
Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking about how they design, manufacture, and sell high performance electric motorcycles, they are on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize their industry by combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology.

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  • http://www.ridedms.com Ulysses

    As a Buell owner, I very glad to see a former Buell engineer at the technology helm at Zero…I am amazed by the potential of these bikes. The thought of being able to commute over 50 miles for a 50 cent charge, or less than a penny a mile, is outstanding, let alone being able to charge it for free like I would my cell phone by my desk at work or at a coffee shop while I surf the web. At today’s gas prices, my Buell costs more than 10 times that per mile, not counting oil changes. As battery technology improves, gas prices go up, and the price of these bikes goes down, I would seriously consider buying one for its low commuting cost. I don’t want to ride a scooter, and I would still want my high power, gas guzzling dual-sport with a 160 mile range. As it is, though, at $8K to $10.5K (minus $1K Federal incentive & some state incentives), the Zero is still a bit pricey for this middle-income Joe. Anyway, congratulations Abe, I’m a fan…