In October 2011, electric motorcycle maker Brammo closed its $28 million B round (technically, the final tranche of a $28 million round).
What jumps out of the news is the lead investor: Polaris, the $1.99-billion snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) leader. And that five days after the funding announcement, the Hong Kong police adopted Brammo electrics.
The Ashland, Oregon startup was founded with a string of gasoline supercar projects before switching to electric motorbikes. CEO Craig Bramscher and his team have been tested a bit, but the last year saw major improvements and a string of wins.
The firm has its share of challenges — beyond the generic electric vehicle (EV) issues of range anxiety, cost/volume, and battery issues — that it must identify to reach a new market.
The marketing questions: Is an electric motorcycle a niche product, and if so, how large is the niche and what is the cost of sales to reach it? The market slices up by age, wallet, application, range, nationality, and most of all. culture. A private EV investor said, “When I looked at the space, I walked into a motorcycle shop, saw the culture, and never went back.” Brammo’s Product Development Director Brian Wismann responded, “We find the motorcycle market is increasingly broad, with a number of different cultural elements.”…