Polaris has been showing considerable interest in electric propulsion for some time, producing an electric version of its Ranger Side-by-Side (pictured above), and more recently buying up Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) from Chrysler. This latest move likely signals the addition of clean and quiet drivetrains to ATVs and motorcycles under the global giant's brand umbrella – snowmobiles may have to wait on battery breakthroughs before they become commercially feasible.
Though it's unlikely that Polaris will roll out electric cruisers or touring bikes in the immediate future under its Victory or Indian nameplates, sharing floorspace with Brammo's commuter, sport and dirt bikes would help educate their core customers about the electric possibilities and hopefully bring in a new breed of buyer.
Of course, there's little doubt Brammo
Meanwhile, the advantages of the deal for Brammo are more immediate. It now has more cash on hand to help roll out the raft of bikes they've announced but have yet to produce (Enertia Plus, Empulse, Encite MMX PRO, and three Engage variants), as well as a significant distribution network to sell them through.
If the two companies mesh well, this could get very interesting. Hit the jump for the official press release along with a bonus video featuring the Brammo Enertia being produced at a Flextronics facility in Hungary.
Brammo Drives Growth with $28 Million Series B and Forms a Strategic Partnership with New Investor Polaris Industries.
Ashland, Oregon, USA October 26, 2011 - Brammo Inc, a leading developer of electric vehicle technology and manufacturer of two-wheel electric vehicles, announced today that it has closed a $28 million Series B funding round designed to accelerate the company's development plans.
The final tranche of the Series B was led by Polaris Industries and included further contributions from existing shareholder Alpine Energy, while adding NorthPort Investments LLC. Polaris, a recognized leader in the powersports industry joins the team as a key strategic partner for Brammo, bringing opportunities to broaden the range of markets for Brammo Electric Vehicle (EV) drivetrain technology and expertise.
"We are excited to add Polaris Industries as a valued strategic partner. Brammo and its partners are combining forces to gain dominance in the EV powersports market," said Brammo, Inc., Founder and CEO Craig Bramscher. "We now have the ability to maintain our high standards of quality while we innovate and commercialize at speed, and this enables us to better serve our customers and build a sustainable advantage. Polaris is the clear leader in powersports and our manufacturing partner, Flextronics, is a global leader in electronics manufacturing. Our products are the synthesis of powersports and electronics. Polaris and Flextronics present the best possible partners to help Brammo achieve the scale and prolific product development plans we have for the coming years."
The foundation of Brammo's success lies in its innovative battery and powertrain technology, which is integral to its expanding product line, including the Enertia - urban commuter, Empulse - sports motorcycle, and Engage and Encite - super moto and off road motorcycles. This same EV technology has potential in both the powersports and the low speed vehicles markets. The intent of Brammo's strategic partnership with Polaris is to enhance Brammo's leadership in the 2 wheeled EV space, while broadening its reach in terms of product development, geographic reach and aggressive growth; all while continuously improving quality, performance, and customer service.
Flextronics enables Brammo to scale through time efficient procurement, supply chain optimization, and high quality assembly. Additionally Flextronics is partnering with Brammo on its battery packaging design and is providing design for manufacturing (DfM) services to Brammo. Currently producing the Enertia at its Sarvar facility in Hungary, Flextronics is about to begin producing the Brammo Power™ battery packs at its Frickenhausen facility in Germany.
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 powersports 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.
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™, Enertia™, Empulse™ and Engage™ motorcycles. Brammo is the current TTXGP eGrandPrix champion of North America. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain™ systems including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit www.Brammo.com