Big news coming from the electric motorcycle camp today, as Polaris has announced it has acquired the electric motorcycle business of Brammo Inc. In addition, Polaris is acting as a leading investor in a recapitalization of Brammo that enables the company to focus exclusively on the design, development and integration of electric vehicle powertrains.
Going forward, the two companies will leverage Polaris’ leading position in the global powersports industry to market a variety of electric vehicles utilizing Brammo’s lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology. Meanwhile, this will free Brammo to continue developing its electric vehicle powertrains. Brammo supplies these products, including the Brammo Power battery pack and Brammo Power vehicle management systems, globally to a wide range of OEMs. As part of this transaction, Polaris will utilize the assets acquired to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in the second half of 2015 at its Spirit Lake, IA facility.
“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. Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO.
The agreement allows both companies to be more agile during the development cycle with clear accountability toward selling products that exemplify Polaris’ standard for delivering world class vehicles.
Polaris has been a strategic investor and partner with Brammo since 2011. During that time, the companies have collaborated on a number of projects in motorcycles, off-road and on-road vehicles.
“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.”
Considering Polaris’ ownership stake in both Victory and Indian Motorcycles, the experience, resources and capital Polaris brings to the table can only be seen as a positive in the e-bike landscape.
While we don’t know Polaris’ long-term plans with Brammo, a more immediate prediction is that of Polaris/Brammo/Victory/Indian beating rival Harley-Davidson and its Project Livewire to the electric motorcycle punch. Whatever the case may be, Polaris is clearly positioning itself to become a major player in the e-bike/alternative energy game.